​Reflections on a wet but wonderful winter!

By: The Juniper Team Categories: Team News

Written on the 27th February 2024

As we start to look forward to spring it's a good opportunity to reflect on our favourite winter moments. As a team, we love getting outdoors and spending time with nature. Whether its a moment of quiet reflection during a morning walk or something a bit more energetic, there is nothing better than a burst of fresh air. Here the Juniper team shares some of our standout memories from the last few months.


I love the exhilaration of riding my mountain bike. We live in a sandy area, which makes it much more challenging in the summer. However, in the winter, the sand is firm and easier to ride on, particularly uphill. One of my favourite places to ride is at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, a joint venture between Dorset Council and Forestry England. Spanning over 200 acres, the park offers dedicated facilities for a wide variety of sports and activities, including miles of cycling trails. Having ridden horses for many years, it has taken me a while to adjust to going slowly uphill and fast downhill (the opposite of being on a horse)! However, the feeling you get as you weave through the stunning pine forests, twisting and turning and having to focus and concentrate, is about as close as I have found to the buzz that you get from riding a horse cross country. It’s such a thrill to be out enjoying the beautiful heathland and pine forests and, without the horse to take at least some of the strain, all the horsepower must come from me, which should mean that my fitness improves too!


I’m lucky enough to have the Surrey Hills AONB on my doorstep and regularly enjoy long walks through the local countryside. The longest walk I’ve ever done though was in January this year, when I did the “Surrey 3 Peaks Challenge” with my husband and a group of friends. We set off at 8am from Dorking and walked 43km (26.7 miles) to Guildford, including Box Hill, Leith Hill, Holmbury Hill, and of course a few pubs along the way as well! We finished at around 8pm which meant we’d walked for a few hours in the dark, relying on our head-torches, which added to the adventure. There was plenty to see along the way, including a very friendly family of alpacas! Next on the list is to walk the South Downs Way (100 miles) but I think we’ll wait until the longer summer days for that one!


Winter is a favourite time of year for my dog, Humphrey. The more mud and puddles for him to splash around in the better! Hence, I get plenty of fresh air taking him on winter walks through the woods and by the lakes around where I live. It's such a refreshing time of year, and dog walking offers a great opportunity to think, reflect on the present, listen to podcasts and music, plus a bit of mindfulness! I’m currently living in Fovant, Wiltshire, and am lucky enough to have the Fovant military badges as the backdrop of many of our walks. And when I’m feeling energetic, it’s great to climb to the top of the hill and take in the fantastic view of the beautiful Wiltshire countryside.


I am currently learning to play golf, so I have been trying to use the winter months to improve my technique on the driving range. I’m lucky that my local club has a really good facility, which overlooks a beautiful lake. Watching the wildlife coming and going, in between taking my shots, has been a lovely way to spend an evening, especially with some of the stunning winter sunsets that we have had. It also helps to distract me when my swing isn’t going as I would like – which, as anyone who has played golf will know, can be quite often!