Songs Beneath the Trees – The Hazel

Songs Beneath the Trees is a collection of songs written specifically for Sibden Hill in Shanklin. Follow the trail to hear five beautiful songs under the trees that inspired local musician, Paul Armfield, to create them.

This part of the wood is what’s known as Standard and Coppice, the standards being the oaks and beech trees and in amongst them the hazel for coppicing, with their many trunks that would be cut every 7 years for hurdles, walking sticks, fences etc. The hazel dormouse seems oddly named, it loves hazelnuts, however, these don’t become edible until Nutting Day, the 14th September, barely in time for the dormouse to eat it’s fill before going into hibernation, it seems a long wait for its favourite food. This song takes the form of an altercation between the impatient dormouse and the hazel tree, I was inspired by Simon Armitage’s recent translation of the 12th century poem ‘The Owl and The Nightingale’, an hilarious exchange of insults.