On the south eastern edge of Footlands Wood, Whatlington this afternoon I found a series of magical ponds, perhaps the remains of old iron ore workings. The Footlands site is known to have been active in the Iron Age before the Romans arrived and that great authority Henry Cleere says it appears to be a site worked by the Regni, a British 'tribe' possibly set up by the Romans.
A few metres from this a Roman road from Compasses Gate curves close to the wood where these ponds are and a short distance further down the Rusty Brook valley ancient flint arrowheads and Bronze Age artefacts were once found.
It was all very peaceful today, the only sound being from the birds and the frogs hopping lively into the water as I approached.
My enjoyment of this mysterious and really rather remote place was crowned by the discovery of an ancient wild service tree (Sorbus torminalis) coppice on a bank at the southern end of the pond (see below). I have been to Footlands Wood many times, but this is the first wild service I have found - and it was my birthday.