Copyright all Text and Images J.A. Hindle 2008
Stanworth Valley was big. The forest floor swept your eyes downwards through the green undergrowth, towards the distant silver of a thin river. You wouldn't know, to walk through it then, that it was home to such a large tree village. The platforms, the walkways, were so high up you had to crane your neck to see them, though here and there there were signs of life on the ground; piles of old tat at the base of a tree, a bucket on a blue rope. Even people.
The river Ribblesworth divided the Valley between east and west and was spanned by a bridge with wooden slats underfoot. It wasn't a particularly wide river, but it was deep. In the middle of winter, at the height of the rains, it had run twice the height it did now. It was telling that the bridge was slung so high above it, a five foot drop beneath it to the water. Large tracts of meadow-like platforms either side of it were only now becoming solid enough to walk on after the receding waters. A steep bank bordered these, lined with the roots of trees.
The whole Valley had been a muddy quagmire over the winter, prompting the tree dwellers to stay airborne for most of their days, cooking in their treehouses and visiting each other over the walkways. There were still large area of impenetrable quag, I was told. Occasionally, security guards sneaking around at night fell in and had to be rescued.