1st April 2009

The Lake

Issued by the Met Office at 05.00 on 1st April 2009

Humber Thames Dover Wight Portland Plymouth:

Northeast 3 or 4, but 5 or 6 in Thames, Dover and Wight. Slight or moderate. Mainly fair, but fog banks developing in Humber and north Thames. Moderate or good, occasionally very poor in Humber and north Thames.

26th March 2009

Issued at 05.05 26th March 2009

Thames, Dover, Wight, Portland, Plymouth:

Southwest veering West 5-7 occasionally gale 8.
Squally showers, moderate or good.
Occasionally poor.

24th March 2009

Issued by the Met Office at 05.00 on 24th March 2009

There are warnings of gales in Tyne, Dogger, Humber, Thames, Dover, Wight, Fitzroy, Rockle, Malin, Hebredes, Bailey.

Humber, Thames, Dover, Wight, Portland, Plymouth:
North backing West of Southwesterly 5 to 7, occasionally gale 8 at first excluding Portland and Plymouth decreasing 4 for a time. Moderate or rough. Showers then rain. Moderate or good.

From Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (Chapter 54)

… It was like my own marsh country, flat and monotonous, and with a dim horizon; while the winding river turned and turned, and the great floating buoys upon it turned and turned, and everything else seemed stranded and still… and some ballast-lighters, shaped like a child's first rude imitation of a boat, lay low in the mud; and a little squat shoal-lighthouse on open piles, stood crippled in the mud on stilts and crutches; and slimy stakes stuck out of the mud, and slimy stones stuck out of the mud, and red landmarks and tidemarks stuck out of the mud, and an old landing-stage and an old roofless building slipped into the mud, and all about us was stagnation and mud.

Under pressure from the rising tides, the saltmarshes of the Essex coastline have been in steady decline since the 1970's. At present, around a third of a square mile of saltmarsh is lost each year along the Essex coastline alone: it is anticipated that half the world's saltmarsh area will be lost within seventy -five years. And after the saltmarshes have gone the sea will be freer to advance inland. The pattern of land-loss occuring in Essex has its parallels across the soft coasts of Britain and Ireland, and across the world.

The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane

Unseen landscapes

Writing in 1938, the painter Paul Nash spoke of the 'unseen landscapes' of England. 'The landscapes I have in mind,' he wrote, 'are not part of the unseen world in a psychic sense, nor are they part of the Unconscious. They belong to the world that lies, visibly, about us. They are unseen merely because they are not perceived; only in that way can they be regarded as invisible.'

English wildness existed in the main as Nash's 'unseen landscapes': it was there, if carefully looked for, in a bend of a stream valley, in the undercut of a river bank, in copses and peat hags, hedgerows and quicksand pools. And it was there in the margins, interzones and rough cusps of the country; quarry rim, derelict factory and motorway verge.

from The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane

That margins should be a redoubt of wildness, I knew, was proof of the deverstation of the land: the extent to which nature had been squeezed to the territory's edges, repressed almost to extinction. But it seemed like proof, as well, of the resiliance of the wild - of its instinct for resurgence, its irrepressibility. And a recognition that wildness weaved with the human world, rather than existing in cleaved-off areas, in National Parks and on distant peninsulas and peaks.

from The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane