Monday, 18 November 2013

The Gerald Palmer Trust Eling Estate

These photos were taken around this time last year, near Hermitage, West Berkshire. At the time, my dear mother was approaching the end of her life and staying in the West Berkshire Community Hospital, and we were driving from London several times a week to visit her. 

If you live in Australia, Canada or the US, you'd probably consider that our 180 mile round trip was just around the corner, but actually it was tiring, involving getting right across London before even starting.  This particular afternoon was very welcome to us.  We had some time before we visited Mum, and so explored some woodland we had noticed before, called the Gerald Palmer Trust Eling Estate. 


It was an incredibly beautiful mixed woodland with all kinds of trees and leaves, and spectacular displays of fungi of many different types. I did a post about it at the time, but I saved the pictures of fungi for another time. And here they are now.   I know fungi aren't everyone's cup of tea, but I love them because they often seem to suggest another, fantastical world, and they come in such subtle colours and interesting shapes.   


Every few hundred yards, it seemed, the type of tree changed, the types of leaves, the types of fungi















 I looked up Gerald Palmer, and this is what I found. He sounds a remarkable man, perhaps the sort who could hardly exist nowadays, a philanthropist, landowner, academic, politican, public servant, sportsman and brave soldier with a leaning towards the spiritual life.

Couldn't help wondering what he would have thought of the people who had repaid his hospitality by leaving all their fast food junk around.   Luckily, there was just one messed-up patch, which was near the road , and the estate seemed to be carefully managed. 



I am grateful to the late Gerald Palmer for a wonderful and memorable afternoon, so let's not end on the selfish people and their junk. Here are another few photos of different parts of the estate. 







48 comments:

  1. The first picture looks similar to the tree I put up for my entry in a group today but date I think came wrong. Who knows why..

    Your third pictures is awesome! third one from the bottom is fab.

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  2. Oh my gosh … you really did take lovely pictures during this visit! And the fungi do look, as you put it, like another fantastical world. What a great and well-rounded person Palmer must have been to create such legacy for all to enjoy.

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  3. What a wonderful place to be able to visit...and what super photographs of the woodland and the fascinating forms and colours of the fungi.

    My father had that book, but the author's name had not registered with me, although it led me, through my father's enthusiasm, to read the modern Greek poets - when I could find translations.

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  4. Such gorgeous colors. Fall is definitely in the air, but not for long.

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  5. What excellent, restful pictures those were. I can understand the tiring aspect of travel through London, we used to take almost two hours coming from Thornton heath to Paddington in the afternoons, probably worse now. The park looks excellent and the variety of fungi are amazing, but I would be wary of eating those on offer. Lovely post!

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  6. A remarkable man was Mr Palmer. What a wonderful place from which to absorb energy from Jenny. So many miles several times a week does indeed become exhausting - even here in Oz! :) (especially if the car's airconditioning is strugglng in the heat)
    I adore the mysterious nature and form of fungii, and it's usually found only in unusually beautiful places.
    Have a lovely and peaceful week Jenny.

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  7. The pictures are perfect. Everything is dead and cold here in Chicagoland. Blech.

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  8. I don't know if my comment came up or not, so I will repost it. Your first photo is gorgeous. I would buy it if it were a card.

    Thanks for your comments on Blair. I think the damage he did to politics has taken some time to come out. There was the immediate reaction, for instance, those people marching (some put the figure at one million), but it's the long-term that has really affected politicians' credibility over time. The current disenfranchisement young people feel and which Russell Brand mentioned in his piece, is a product of the Blair era.

    I am going to bed now still with your pictures in my head. Those close-ups are sublime.

    Have a great week.

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  9. Love the pictures of the fungus mainly because they look like nature's jewelry art. Beautiful pictures!

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  10. I'm always telling everybody Japan has the most beautiful autumns, but then I see photos of England and I think ... well ... maybe not.

    I will never understand people who leave their rubbish behind. I just cannot get my head around it. Just. Can. Not.

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  11. How lovely it is to see many different lives in your autumn. I imagine that you must have been walking with joy and careful observation. Seeing the first photo, I feel like I can hear the sound of footsteps on the red blanket! The last photo is my favorite. It can be postcards!! thank you for sharing, Jenny.
    Tomoko

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  12. Absolutely wonderful photos, Jenny. And you're correct...everywhere is just "down the road" and "around the corner" here in the Land of Oz! :)

    I hate, hate, hate litter and those who litter should be penalised until it hurts!

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  13. It truly does look like a magic forest, Jenny. I can see why you find funghi so fascinating.

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  14. Trees are always inspiring for me, and to see the woodland through your photos are pleasure and amazement. I hear the rustle of the foliage. The various types of fungi are so interesting to see as well.

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  15. What an amazing place! The trees around here seem to be almost empty of leaves now after the high winds of the last few weeks. So a reminder of how lovely they can look in their autumn finery was just what I needed!

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  16. A wonderful place and wonderful photos

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  17. Some fabulos images here - thank you. Recently found your blog and following as A Bit About Britain.

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  18. What lovely pictures - Savernake Forest is looking equally wonderful this November. And the fungi - so often we forget to stop and look at all the tiny wonders.

    Do hope you're feeling better?

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  19. Jenny, what absolutely beautiful pictures. Who needs New England when we have such beauty in the old one?

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  20. Your photos make even the fungi look beautiful! A lovely estate.

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  21. Thank you for your comments. Pensioner, I must say that New England is wonderful in the fall but this was so varied that it had quite a magical feeling. Thanks, Jo, I am okay now (well except for a sniffle) and I can imagine how wonderful Savernake looks.

    Thank you Mike, I found your blog interesting and some of your links too. Good to meet you here!
    I am sorry that your leaves are all gone, AJ, some are hanging on here, JUST (literally) but it's all changing so fast at this time of year.

    So agree with you Lee about litter. I was quite cross to see this junk. I picked it up and put it in a bin you will be glad to hear! Thank you Tomoko and Haricot and Rurousha, I appreciate your comments because there are always such beautiful photos of trees in autumn on Japanese blogs so I know autumn there must be wonderful too.
    Hi Sparkle, I love your blog! :)
    Adullamite, I was luckily not hungry enough to try eating the fungi, but even if I had been starving I wouldn't have tried!
    Helen, I am glad that you have this particular connection to him by the book, some people seem to have been all about opening doors for others, don't they?
    Bonnie, the fungi are indeed like nature's jewellery, what a nice description!
    Cuban, so true - damage like this often takes time to seep through into the fabric of society.
    So even Australians notice distances. - that is interesting. We rarely have the problem the car's air conditioning is not coping here :) although occasionally it has happened.
    Sonya Ann, I'm trying to hold off the minute when I look out of the window and everything is cold and dead here too. There's still a beautiful large cherry tree all golden red outside.
    Thank you to everyone who has commented.

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  22. You photographed so many different kinds of fungus, Jenny. I like them because they are “fun guy” which make me cheerful when I find them. The autumn foliage is awesome in your photos! I guess your mother’s condition toward the end of her life was reflected in the nature as the last glow of colored leaves before being withered and muted in colors. The last three photos show enchanted wood. I feel like that your mother is there with fairies. Late autumn always made me in reflective mood.

    Yoko

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  23. What a beautiful photos to show us Jenny. Thanks for sharing them....ohhh the colours...
    Erna x

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  24. Wow the fungi looks amazing. I've never seen so many different kinds before.

    Nothing makes me more angry than people that leave their rubbish around like that.

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  25. Oh, Jenny! This was just glorious! I was amazed by all the different varieties of fungus and leaves, like you said. Wow! What a beautiful place...except for the trash, of course. Glad there was little of it. Thanks for taking me along!! :)

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  26. First picture is beautiful.
    What a fabulous place, it sounds like exactly what you needed at that sad time.

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  27. What a glorious estate, and a wonderful photographic tribute to autumn - - my favorite time of year. The colorful and often overlooked fungi adds to the intrigue of the autumnal atmosphere. It's really magical. I'm sure these memories are especially poignant and bittersweet for you, since your were going through the extremely difficult time of your Mother's final illness.

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  28. A magical place indeed. I agree, fungi in all their extraordinary shapes and colours and textures are fascinating. The brown fungus with the white crinkled coat is amazing.

    It annoys me too to see litter in beautiful landscapes. Is it really so hard to take it away with you rather than casually dropping it?

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  29. Beauty and serenity in nature..always important but especially at a time like you were going through then. That's a long trip to make under those circumstances too! One thing to just take a scenic drive and maybe a meal, a whole other thing when you have someone to spend time with who is unwell at the end of the trip.

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  30. Beautiful autumnal colours and somewhere to find a few minutes peace during what must have been a very difficult time for you.

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  31. Lovely, lovely golden leaves, a wood in Autumn is so magical and so are those wonderful fungi, I've never seem so many different kinds. Jane xx

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  32. Wonderful pictures! And I love all the photos of the fungi.

    I can't understand people just leaving their trash. What is so difficult about picking it up and disposing of it in a trash bin? Good for you to do just that!

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  33. That's a beautiful estate - I can see how you'd find it a comforting place.

    I don't particularly care for fungi necessarily, but then your pictures showed me how pretty they can be.

    Thanks for the education on Camden Town.

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  34. These are some of the most beautiful photos I've ever seen.

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  35. Your photos are so clear and interesting. Such a peaceful looking place to visit. BTW, I really like your new blog banner. Is that part of the estate too or taken elsewhere?

    Darla

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  36. Such beautiful images, a post full of inspiration. I am so sorry about your Mother, and glad that you found a few moments of refuge in this wonderful place. He sounds a very special person. This is not far from us, I must make the time to find it. Thanks you for sharing. x

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  37. Wonderful estate and your photos, Jenny! I liked the woods colors: golden, yellow, dark green, brown. It's the painting by the great artist NATURE.

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  38. It's Thanksgiving Day, and our family eats an early dinner instead of lunch. Just now there is a lull between the hectic preparations and all the guests arriving for the meal. I wanted to take some of that time to visit my blogging friends. I needed to say thank you. Thank you for the inspiration you provide here in your place and for the comments you leave behind when you visit mine. Happy Thanksgiving, friend.

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  39. Oh good, sounds like nobody minded the fact it was fungi, although I know some people don't like the idea of fungus.

    Yes, Nadezda, I agree that not only is Nature an artist, but is better than any human one I think.... I'm glad you like the banner, Darla. It's taken in London SE1, at Boutcher School (featured on my other blog). :)

    Sallie, you are right, the reason for being there cast a shadow but in another way it was good to be free of the cares for a short while and I was able to tell my mother how beautiful the woods had been and show her some of the photos when I visited. .

    Your comment was very poetic, Yoko

    Thank you very much and to everyone who left such sweet comments.

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  40. Your photos are so vivid and alive! What a gorgeous place that must be to visit. Thanks for sharing. I hate when people leave litter too. ;<(

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  41. Such rich color, strange shapes, images that carry the odor of moss and damp leaves.

    I have to pick up litter on my little patch pretty much daily. But I get a lot more traffic, and a large slice of the less responsible sorts of people.

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  42. Such a wealth of colours and shapes in all those varieties of mushrooms! I find them fascinating...and love knowing nothing about them so I can just enjoy their surprising shapes and formations without having to name, sort or classify. A most enjoyable walk in the woods with you--thanks!

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  43. I enjoyed the fungi fotos (or phungi photos - English can be such a silly language) and you've inspired me to start searching for some in NZ. I can't recall seeing any around here which is quite ridiculous.

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  44. Thanks for the beautiful pics and words. I live in the area so know it well. Gerald's sister was my godmother and as a kid she would take us to Gerald's house to swim so I knew him. Just brought back the memories.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, and funnily enough even though 3 years have passed since I posted this, I still think about it. Just a week ago we were in Hungerford and I would have gone there if it hadn't ABSOLUTELY pelted with rain!!!! We went to look round a church instead. How nice to have actually known Gerald, based on this I have the greatest respect for him.

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  45. I know this is an old post but my sister and I are returning to Wellhouse where we grew up and i was doing some research and came across your lovely photos. My father was Mr Gerald's Head Forester from the early '50s till the late 60s so we knew these woods well. We lived opposite. Such happy memories of the woods, Mr Gerald and Miss Palmer that willako L mentions.it was, and still looks like, a magical estate.

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