Apparently, not too many years ago, this whole area was woodland. Houses, roads and shops later, only part of the wood remains. The remainder is now called Highwoods Country Park. Much reduced, but at least this means that it's protected now!
Part of the wood has been coppiced regularly since Tudor times and continues to be managed this way. There is a small log-cabin type visitor centre, serving tea and coffee, and selling little pocket-money things like pens and pencils, and rubbery bugs for scaring sisters with.
There is a lake, a hill covered in grass (it gets covered with picnickers in the summer!), a meadow, and marked walks and cycle routed through the trees. We recently found another bit, a wilder bit, fewer paths. We hadn't known it was there!
this next photo is out of focus but I still wanted to keep it :)What the??? Oh dear... well, you can't blame him, it's only what Bears do in the woods...
Lastly, a view over Colchester from the woods: