The shops and pavements of East Finchley are built up and busy in this pleasant North London suburb. But the path by the railway line leads to a fragment of ancient woodland that has survived in its natural state since pre historic times.
Enter into the woods in Winter and the trees are bare and yet full of life, often hidden away.
Here there are many different species of birds, including owls and woodpeckers. Stand quite still and be patient and one of the forest creatures may appear. Squirrels no longer hibernate but dart here and there even on the coldest days.
A squirrel in winter
The trees do something strange here. They grow in twos and threes as though they do not want to be alone.
Trees grow close together
There are some odd sights. Two trees reach upwards side by side; another forces its way between them and grows almost horizontally.
An odd sight
When spring comes to Cherry Tree Wood the trees blossom under the blue sky.
Cherry Tree Wood is one of five in this location. Highgate Wood and Queens Wood are within walking distance as are Big Wood and Little Wood. Best of all, they are linked by the Capital Ring - a walk through open spaces and quiet roads that encirles the whole of London and is signposted all the way round.
The walk between Big Wood and Cherry Tree Wood is by Mutton Brook.
The path by Mutton Brook
And even on the stretch of the walk that goes along roads there are scenes of breathtaking beauty like this Weeping Willow that drawfs the houses along the way.
Weeping Willow on the Captial Ring walk
Walk from East Finchley Station
North London map