Fineshade blogs

On this page, we will publish articles about anything at all to do with Fineshade.


  • Have you enjoyed a special experience here?

  • Can you tell us about the Fineshade of yester-year?

  • What about the old railway line?

  • Can you write about some of the special wildlife?

  • Do you have an answer to problems about the road access?

  • What’s it really like to live or work here?

  • Could you contribute a regular diary about your visits?


We invite contributions and comments from anyone and everyone.  

November 7, 2016

The Caravan Club Site at Top Lodge, Fineshade is open from March to November and many members come back year after year, becoming familiar faces in the wood. Some of these are also Friends of Fineshade as they are enjoying and helping to protect the woods.

In July this year Caroline visited the site for the first time and recently wrote this blog...

September 27, 2016

Most visitors to Fineshade are delighted when they catch sight of deer, one of the most obvious examples of large animals running wild in the wood.

You’re walking quietly along a grassy ride in Fineshade, delighting in the fact that you’re on your own, that the wood is silent and everything motionless. Suddenly, not far ahead of you a movement, a...

August 18, 2016

How easy it is to find flowers, if you go on a walk with an expert! 

Brian Laney led a flower walk last Saturday, as he’s done in other years. He can find plants that the rest of us would never have seen, and he can identify some as different from the “Oh, that’s just another ragwort” that the rest of us were saying. As soon as you are told it’s o...

February 17, 2016

Westhay, the southern part of Fineshade Wood is privately owned but managed by the Forestry Commission. In 2013 one of the rides was widened and in June last year I wrote a blog, “Three cheers for the Commission”, praising the way it had been done and saying how good that ride was looking.

We thought at that time that the plan was to widen the res...

September 18, 2015

There’s more “food for free” around in the woods now than at any other time of the year. When you’ve picked it, taken it home, cooked and eaten something that you haven’t had to pay for, it’s in a special food category. So what’s around for aspirant hunter gatherers?


Our most common wild fruit – you don’t have to search hard in Fin...

​I've walked around Fineshade Woods many times over the last 30 years and seen a number of orchids, picked a lot of blackberries but I had no idea how many different flowers there were in the wood until....


Jan and I met up with Brian Laney and some other Friends of Fineshade  to see what flowers we could find. Brian is an expert botanist as we s...

Rosebay willowherb and thistle look on as this grassy field wafts and waves in the summer air.


Grass, probably the most successful plant in the world, does not recognise borders and gate controls. 

It will, however, without mowing or grazing, return to scrub and eventually to woodland.


This is the field in front of Top Lodge and the site of recen...

July 21, 2015

It's well known that Red Kites don't usually take live prey but prefer to take carrion - clearing up unfortunate animals that have been killed along the roads, for example. However, this story from a Fineshade resident suggests that one at least might be partial to the odd bit of fruit in its diet.



It all started with a broken freezer...!!



June 25, 2015

Today, a humid mid-summer’s day, I stood on a ride in the middle of Westhay Wood and all I could hear was the hum of insects and, the desultory late song of a Chiffchaff.  And, if it hadn’t broken the perfect peace of the afternoon, I really think I might have give three rousing cheers for the Forestry Commission. For here all around me was the e...

June 10, 2015

A sunny June morning in East Northamptonshire, on the edge of a leafy woodland at Fineshade. I leave the track and stoop low to enter the verdant bower, immediately surrounded by sights and sounds that only a magical habitat like this can provide. Leaves flicker in the light breeze, sunlight and shadows dapple the lush green surface beneath my fe...

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Fineshade: a caravanner's view

November 7, 2016

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