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WB Student Only Writing & Photo Competition Winner

September 13th, 2017

In our first student only competition students were asked to write a short 300-word article about a place in their village, town or city that is special to them. They had to write it as a travel piece to entice people to visit. This exercise was designed to help students look at the familiar with new eyes. The winner received £25 prize and publication on this blog.

And the winner is Sharon Webster with Cleeve Hill

If you find yourself in Cheltenham in late spring then there is a typical English woodland you should visit. Save it for a sunny day and allow yourself time to linger, for it is somewhere you might want to keep inside your head.

The easiest approach would be to join the Cotswold Way at Prestbury heading towards Winchcombe. Then, when the racecourse is in clear view, duck right on the path that leads into the trees. So near to town, yet often empty; you will feel as though you have stumbled upon a secret.

Charmed from my first outing there, it is the sounds that I remember; our laughter as we set off, the rustle of the breeze on the dry hillside grass and the creak of a kissing gate. Then, wrapped in the tranquillity of the woods, hushed whispers and sign language as we placed our feet carefully on the cushion of soft moss, whilst in the background the tinkle of a trickling stream.

I loved the movement, the energy. Wind in our hair we made light of the incline, embracing the freshness, drinking in the views towards the Malverns. But in the trees, with the promise of deer, we adopted the stealth of crouched hunters, scrutinizing the detail, slackening our pace.

The light was somehow in tune. A blue, blue sky filled with brightness and the cotton wool clouds of children’s stories followed by the softness of shade, rays of warmth trickling between still empty branches, collecting in pools, reflecting the colours of golden browns and greens.

But it was an expanse of gently moving blue stretching into the distance at our feet that finally stopped us in our tracks. It is the magical and unexpected that make this wood so special. I would recommend it.

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