Donkey Wood


Easter Monday, and Dad joined Mum and I for the next bit of the London Loop. This started in Kingston and ended in a place called Donkey Wood, near Hatton Cross tube by Heathrow Airport.

We got a bus to Kingston, my parents luxuriating in their over-60 free bus passes, while I paid the full £1.50 because I don't even have an Oyster card for the discount. Sigh.


The walk began through parkland near Hampton Court Palace. I photographed trees in various states of deadness.

Dead tree on bed of dry straw.
1/250 at f9.5, 19mm, ISO200
Smart canal through the park (possibly this was built to bring water from somewhere else to the Palace, I can't remember). And look, what's that? A dead tree!
1/90 at f13, 22mm, ISO200
Tree in a cage! Wow, they treat their trees nasty round here.
1/10 at f13, 14mm, ISO200
One of the lakes in the park.
1/250 at f11, 22mm, ISO200
Inside the remains of a tree-stump.
1/125 at f11, 22mm, ISO200
And in another lake... I wonder what this might be...
1/250 at f11, 22mm, ISO200
A small shed/box at which somebody might once have stood, maybe selling tickets or something? At the entrance to the Woodland Gardens.
1/60 at f4, 17mm, ISO200
Some of these trees are actually alive. Must be losing my focus.
1/20 at f4.5, 22mm, ISO200
Nice avenue.
1/90 at f8, 22mm, ISO200
Didn't think we'd left the dead trees behind, did you?
1/90 at f16, 10mm, ISO200
Bark. (Woof!)
1/250 at f11, 22mm, ISO200

River Crane

After that the walk went through a golf course and suburban streets before entering Crane Park. This used to be an area of gunpowder mills along the River Crane. There are earth banks that supposedly are intended to contain explosions; and there's a tall tower called the Shot Tower (no idea what it's for, maybe somebody shot it). We sat on an island nature reserve to eat lunch.

River Crane crossing below the main road.
1/20 at f4.5, 22mm, ISO200

We walked into Hounslow and across part of the Heath (which is a pretty neat place, although there aren't too many highwaymen any more). Eventually our route rejoined the Crane and ran along it.

I think this building used to be something to do with the water board. Couldn't get closer easily; there was a tall fence.
1/180 at f4.5, 22mm, ISO200
Dumped in woods by the river, a bizarre old... uh... well, I think it was some kind of music player. Its wooden box lid had a cushioned, patterned inside.
1/350 at f4, 18mm, ISO200
The river before we left it, trapped in a wire cage.
1/60 at f8, 22mm, ISO200
And a final tree, trying to escape its own.
1/90 at f4.5, 18mm, ISO200

After that it was along the main road (after a kamikaze dash across), with planes roaring overhead every minute and a half, until we reached Hatton Cross and the bus back home.

Since my dad was there too, you can see his pictures if you like; they're on his usual site.

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.