I was heartened to discover a make shift rope and stick swing in the Lasgarn Wood last weekend. These used to be commonplace in the peri-urban woodlands of my youth but are now largely replaced by more formal play spaces, fenced off, British Standard equipment with soft fall rubber matting to help ensure all risk is removed from play. I remember some monster rope swings slung from a bough of a veteran beech that once mounted would thrill the most discerning thrill seeker.
The woodland was largely quite but unseasonally warm. A sunny glade was populated by a single red admiral butterfly that repeatedly alighted on a tree trunk. In the heart of the wood where trees were at their densest and sunlight was at a premium slugs and snails were widespread. Plaited door snails could be found cheek by jowl with the lemon slug Limax tenellus, an ancient woodland indicator species. Not many records from the vice county of Monmouthshire but then who bothers to record slugs!