March descending

On the last day of March, the sun makes a slow descent behind the dark hedgerow and April emerges under a blue sky. On the downs, ravens and buzzards are mobbed by nesting carrion crows. Chiffchaffs, finches and buntings are calling from the trees. Bumblebees work the willow catkins in the evening sun and appear…

Dexters on the Down

Dexter cattle are either tan or black with elegant curved horns and small with short legs, so perfectly formed for grazing the steep downlands. At Fackenden, they are put out over winter and early spring to keep the chalk grassland sward in check and perhaps halt the spread of tor-grass which occurs in distinctive, light…

March light

In March, the grass is growing, gardens and greens are full of daffodils, the budding trees are russet-fringed and willows are in bright leaf. The muted, early spring palette, laced with white and pink cherry blossom, is filled with promise. The old estate at Little Barford near St Neots provides a set of postcards of…

Faces of February

A month of extremes; a mild start followed by a week of freezing air from the north east and snow-frozen ground that disappears as quickly as it arrives and is quickly forgotten as the land is brought alive by spring-like temperatures and the first butterflies are on the wing. In the freeze, the small birds…

Mid winter sun

January is dark and dismal; on rare days the sun shines and the coastline is transformed by a palette of powder blue, dark purples and gravel browns. At Shellness, the sea is calm and the views distant, but the tide is out on the full and the geese, waders and gulls dispersed and quiet.

Wrabness

Wrabness is a small village with a long history and, on a bright day, wide views north across the Stour Estuary to Suffolk. Today, a cold shroud deadens the coast. In the churchyard, a small bell house squats square amongst the headstones; it was constructed as temporary measure after the bell tower toppled off the…

The River Eden

Christmas Day The walk from Penshurst to Hever runs just to the south of the village of Chiddingstone but the afternoon light quickly fades and we turn a mile before we reach the end. The ground is waterlogged and the trees bare; the moon rises early in the cold sky. The redwings and fieldfares feed…

Oare today …

The weather is broad grey brushstrokes with brief sparks of sunshine that light small flocks of lapwings and the many ducks on the open waters of the East Flood. A mobile mass of starlings forages in the recently cut marsh with a busy intensity; birds rise from the back and move to the front in…