Blooming Dungeness

On the bare shingle ridge, fishing boats are hauled up well above the highest tides. The stark shapes puncture the smooth lines of the foreland. Inland and the first vegetation is sea kale, yellow horned-poppy and prostrate broom. Further inland and the vegetation is more established in increasingly large patches and swathes; there is aContinue reading “Blooming Dungeness”

Cors Fochno

Cord Fochno, is a raised mire; a great lens of peat next to the Dyfi estuary a few miles to the north of Aberystwyth. At its heart, there is no solid ground, just layers of compressed Sphagnum mosses laid down on a freshwater wetland since the end of the last Ice Age. In the past,Continue reading “Cors Fochno”

Elmley Marshes

The pewter grey sky hangs heavy and deadens the afternoon light; on the long road to Kingshill farmhouse, lapwings are dotted everywhere on the endless flooded meadows, foraging at the edge of silver pools and occasionally displaying low over the ground. A flock of starlings hurries across a distant horizon, no doubt mindful that thisContinue reading “Elmley Marshes”

The Dart Estuary

The Dart Estuary is a sinuous flooded valley, lined with ancient oak woodlands that run down to, and hang over, the water. The influence of the Atlantic creates a damp, dark understorey of holly, birch and butcher’s broom with a ground flora rich in ferns and mosses. Between Dartmouth and Totnes, there are a handful of villagesContinue reading “The Dart Estuary”

Stodmarsh

In the late afternoon, the warm wind blows from the west and the sun shines over the wide, grazing marshes and rare, reed bed remnant of the Stour valley. The mere at the east end near Grove Ferry is full of moulting teal and shoveler and lapwings, gulls and starlings. Some of the ducks splash and dive intoContinue reading “Stodmarsh”

Dungeness B

The dawn sky is a wash of saturated purple and vivid orange like an overdone postcard; the sunlight edges the curved hulls of the fishing boats, warms the waves of shingle to a russet and whitens the windows in the small wooden houses. The view just before sunrise. Boats, winches, sheds, containers, all manner of boxes; coils of rope,Continue reading “Dungeness B”