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A Walk with Winnie-the-Pooh

Written by Mike Butler, 28th July 2011

Zoe Gilling, The Reader Organisation's Business Manager, takes a break from organising our move to West Everton to to take a stroll in Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood

Poetry and Hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you. And all you can do is go where they can find you

- Winnie-the-Pooh

This weekend, as part of an attempt to escape from stresses and strains of the impending move to Everton, I found myself “deep in The Hundred Acre Wood” of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.  Well, The Hundred Acre Wood of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories is actually a five hundred acre wood in Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, England. A.A. Milne's country home at Cotchford Farm, Hartfield was situated just north of Ashdown Forest, and the wood is a dense beech wood that Christopher Robin would explore on his way from Cotchford Farm to the Forest. The wood is privately-owned and is not generally accessible to the public so instead I went to an imitation hundred acre wood in Aldenham Country Park, Elstree. All the same, it really did feel as though all the Winnie-the-Pooh stories of my childhood had been brought to life. My children were captivated.

Most characters have their houses portrayed and they have been cleverly built around the oak trees that are in the woods or form the focal points of the fields. We spent ages going from house to house, knocking on the doors and peering through the windows. There are two bridges to play poohsticks on, and a stream with ‘stones and roks’ that was a perfect stop-off point for a paddle. The Sandy Pit Where Roo Plays, The Bee Tree,  and even Eeyore’s Gloomy place all feature and of course pretending to be caught in the Heffalump trap was fun too!

…Ah well….time to get stuck into the packing crates…but in a much more relaxed frame of mind thanks to AA Milne and Pooh Bear.

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