Treetops Hospice woodland and failed flapjack

Apologies for quality of pictures, I was relying on my phone as my camera is broken, boo hoo.  Anyway I’ve decided to do a bit of volunteering with The Woodland Trust.  It involves visiting woodlands that are listed on their VisitWoods website.  The website should develop into a really useful resource when planning to visit a woodland.  There are so many around.  I’ve looked at Visit Woods in the past and even though I’ve thought it’s a great resource I still wasn’t confident enough to visit woodlands if it didn’t suggest where to park, what to see, any costs involved and how to access it.  So this is the idea of the voluntary work, hopefully it shouldn’t be too much work as we already visit lots of woodlands with the boys or go running around them. I then of course write a blog post about it and hope that it will be useful.  There will be a link from the website to here along with some photos. Anyone can do this by the way, you’d be helping others greatly if you found a bit of time to add some details to the website. Our latest woodland outing was to Risley and a visit to Treetops Hospice woodland.  It’s free to enter and to park, although we made a donation as they are a very worthwhile charity. They have a car park for visitors right near the entrance. It’s a smallish woodland that’s been planted around a large field.  Don’t let that put you off though.  It’s ideal if you’re passing through and would like somewhere to stop and eat your sandwiches, or just need an hour or two to occupy your little ones and burn of some energy.  As ever a boardwalk through the wood makes it really exciting.  The boardwalk is about 200m after that there’s a trail that continues but it’s more of a chipped bark surface. There are a few benches around.  It’s a new-ish woodland which means smaller trees with climb-able branches for The Fireman. It’s popular with dog walkers, they seem well behaved walkers and clear up after their dogs. We found a great blackberry picking spot.  The boys spotted lots of rabbit holes, they find that sort of thing exciting, I just have to try to encourage them not to ram sticks down them. Treetops host a number of family friendly fundraising events throughout the year, check on their website and have a look at their events calendar to see what’s on.  When we’d finished it had only just gone 12pm so we decided to drive on up to Dale Abbey, just a few miles north and visited the Hermit’s Wood there.  This really deserves a blog of it’s own.  I need to visit again and this time maybe i’ll find the Hermit’s Cave….. The boys were happy though.  The Farmer, as always searches for big fallen branches or tree trunks he can play trains on, The Fireman collects sticks and digs and digs and digs. The is a real magical woodland with great big oak and beech trees, it has a lovely feel about it. More about the Hermit’s Wood another time.  With the blackberries we’d collected earlier in the day, I decided we’d make blackberry flapjacks.

Squishing blackberries

The Farmer helped. I fancied a flapjack recipe that created a chewy texture, a bit like the Frusli bars you get.  I’d heard adding mashed banana helps, also means you can reduce sugar and butter.  Unfortunately this was not the result I was after, it was more soggy than chewy.  I tried again with a different recipe, but why oh why did I use mashed banana again!. I now had quite a lot of flapjack and being the sort of person who hates throwing food away I decided to chuck it all in the food processor and chop it all up.  I then added a load of honey and baked it until it had dried a bit more, et voila, granola!

A blurred hand of The Cyclist pinching the granola

You’ll also find info and be able to share you experiences of Treetops Hospice woodland on The Woodland Trust’s VisitWoods website.

Walks in Stapleford | Treetops Hospice | Derbyshire Walks.