Queen's Wood in north London is an ancient remnant of the Forest of Middlesex, which once covered what is now the north of Greater London. The forest passed into private ownership in the 13th Century, and was gradually deforested. A few small isolated pockets remain.
You can feel the age in the looming oak and hornbeam trees. It has that deep fairy-tale forest feel despite never being more than a big stone lob from roads and houses. The diverse and aged canopy supports a wide range of avifauna too- nuthatch, sparrowhawks, jays, parakeet, goldcrest and all three British woodpecker species.
With the sudden burst of foliage in the past few weeks, the wood is now rich with the smells and saturated greens of spring. Gorgeous in the dappled sunlight, though it's harder to see the birds.