Nacton Meadows

Nacton Meadows is entirely hidden in a small valley that is accessed by a footpath between Levington and Nacton just north of the Orwell estuary. The first meadow is on a west facing slope with a herd of boisterous heffers so not a place to potter. The second is across a stream on a southContinue reading “Nacton Meadows”

The Walls

The Stour Estuary is a long straight body of water barely contained in the low hills of the Essex and Suffolk border; the land appears to be gently sinking into the sea. There is a scattering of moored yachts in the centre of the inner estuary; dinghies or perhaps canoes are crudely sheeted and boundContinue reading “The Walls”

Leiston Ivy

The ruins of Leiston Abbey lie a few miles to the north of the small town of Leiston on the roads to East Bridge and the famous RSPB nature reserve at Minsmere. The ragged ruins sit in neatly mown grasslands and adjacent to old buildings that are now a music school. Under a grey andContinue reading “Leiston Ivy”

Orford Landscapes

The sou’westerly whips the water and ruffles the couch grass sward along the sea wall.  The halyards hammer the masts of the anchored dinghies and yachts in a tinny percussion. The early morning sun breaks the cloud and briefly transforms the grey coast into molten light and stark silhouettes.  The flat grazing marshes are aContinue reading “Orford Landscapes”

Whimbrels on the Alde Estuary

The north east wind drives in off the ugly, mud brown sea; Aldeburgh huddles on the coast. South from the town, a long gravel spit runs for miles to Orfordness and beyond. The track bumps past the sailing club, full of small craft but empty of people to the squat, Martello Tower about a mile fromContinue reading “Whimbrels on the Alde Estuary”

Postcard from the Suffolk Coast

On a fine day, the narrow, shingle edge that shelters the great reed bed in the wide valley between the villages of Dunwich and Walberswick is one of the great coastal walks. There is a distant view of Southwold to the north across the bay. To the south, beyond the pretty houses and abbey ruins ofContinue reading “Postcard from the Suffolk Coast”

Early Spring

The two churches of Trimley St Martin and Trimley St Mary sit side by side; one thrives and the other crumbles. The reason two substantial churches were built so close together for neighbouring village parishes is apparently down to a family feud. The resulting Darwinian struggle for congregations had only one conclusion. Poor St Mary; the insult is compoundedContinue reading “Early Spring”