New answers tagged forests
You won't find enough continuous forest for what you want in southern England. But (about 20 years ago) I walked and wild camped (actually bright orange bivvy bags) a fair stretch of the south downs way. It was late December but colder than the weather we've been having recently. I got there by regional train from London. I've also wild camped in the ...
re Epping Forest: Epping Forest is quite thin... plus it's near enough urban areas (Essex, eek!) that I'd be slightly concerned about being beaten up by urban Yoof, and/or laughed at, as I approached my chosen place. Bear in mind too that in South-East England at the moment there are in fact some illegal immigrants who live out in the wild... probably ...
If you really want to camp I would recommend the New Forest as there are lots of campsites there and plenty of walking for at least a weekend. The problem is most of Southern England is pretty much all residential or farmland so there are few good places where you can wild camp reliably. There are probably also plenty of camping locations along the North ...
It is illegal to wild camp in England outside of Dartmoor. A lot of our woodlands are privately owned. It maybe relaxed in places, as in, people get away with it, but you might find that harder down near London. You may need permission to wild camp some areas. However... for forests near London to visit you could have a look at Epping Forest, it sits ...
According to Wikipedia, the largest ancient woodland is the "Windsor Great Park" (1777 Ha) :) However, this one doesn't really fit into your description, does it? The next biggest woodland is King's and Baker's Wood (212 Ha). Further information: http://www.protectedplanet.net/136567
Were there fruit trees nearby? I ask because here (South Germany) the old-style apple trees grow really big, and in autumn they have such masses of fruit that the branches can break off under the weight. So they keep those sticks leaning on the trees, and in autumn they get wedged under the long branches so they don't break. The modern apple plantations for ...
While that construction has no shelter currently, Scouts and other outdoors groups will often make a frame like you describe, and then cover those branches with leaves, moss or even a tarp in order to provide a shelter. Using the tree trunk gives a solid support for this sort of thing, and often the tree itself provides some shelter from its own branches.
These dot the woods near my house (Eastern United States), where children construct them as play forts. I suspect this activity has worldwide appeal.
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