Month: September 2015

Dungeness A

The flat grazing marshes of Romney, with large farms and famous sheep flocks, now adorned by a wind farm and bigger airport outside the old village of Lydd, give way to low shingle ridges decked with bushes as the road heads south to Dungeness. A […]

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Whitstable Shore

Whitstable is quiet without the summer visitors or weekenders down from the Smoke. The few about are pensioners and young mothers in the main. A couple of windsurfers tiptoe down the beach and soon have more zip than most. The westerly is only tamed by turning […]

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Oare Marshes on the Ebb Tide

The roosting flocks of black-tailed godwits and avocets are in their allotted places within the shallow mere as they were a few days ago. Then, they roosted quietly after gathering on the flood tide. Today, they are wing stretching, washing, preening, flying and flapping vigorously just over the […]

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Oare Marshes

The open door of the Castle Inn in the small village of Oare looks inviting, but we opt for the walk along the edge of the narrow, boat-crowded creek. We nod to weather-lined men in blue, barrelled overalls tinkering with their ladies of all shapes […]

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Bois Jarzeau Encore

The land of the south Charente is a changing; old fashioned, low intensive mixed farming is on the wane and new intensive agriculture is spreading. The old is untidy and intricate, fascinating but inefficient; and the new, uniform and sharp-lined, mundane but productive and profitable. Young Limousine […]

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South Charente and North Dordogne Fritillaries

Everywhere in the quiet borderland of the rivers Dronne and Lizonne/Nizonne there are fritillary butterflies, captivating in their intricate brown, orange and gold filigree patterns; all confusingly similar but subtly different. This then is a brief and provisional aide memoire on the six (or seven) common […]

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Le Plateau d’Argentine

The small village of Argentine, so small it is now linked with nearby Rochebeaucourt as La Rochebeaucourt-et-Argentine, sits peacefully at one end of a long limestone plateau above the river Nizonne looking over the rolling hills of the Charente to the west. The plateau is a great grey […]

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La Forêt de la Double

Looking to the south of Saint-Aulaye beyond the River Dronne, the land is endless lines of long, forested ridges where hen harrier, honey buzzard and hobby are all found within the planted pines and clearfells. In late August, the Double Forest is quiet and no […]

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Les Tourbières de Vendoire

There is little to suggest that the habitats around the winding, river Lizonne near Vendoire on the borders of the Charente and Dordogne are in any way special. There is the occasional, brown-watered pond and impenetrable grassland amongst the ever present lines of willow and poplar. However, the […]

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