One of the nice things about the summer (remember it was wet and warm rather than wet and cold) is our annual trip to the Aldeburgh bookshop is Suffolk. As a proper bookshop you exit feeling transformed having picked up ‘a never heard of, but this looks interesting book’. This Luminous Coast by Jules Pretty has since provided much inspiration.
Jules Pretty documents a coastal trek through Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk reflecting on social history, natural and cultural places of significance. The coastal trek is used to reflect on coastal change in the past, recent past and the political and social consequences of climate change.
Interestingly East Anglia is a hot bed of ideas and reflections on natural and cultural responses to climate change, recently by Robert Macfarlane (see the mud larking post), and also in more reflective thinking on the role of nature reserves. Patrick Barkham wrote on the centenary of the nature reserve at Blakeney Point, Norfolk, wondering if single entity reserves are defunct with a preference now for landscape-scale nature conservation. A similar argument about ‘sites’ and landscapes could also be used for cultural heritage.
From a touchy-feely perspective it is thought provoking and an inspiration for how we can use narrative to reflect on impacts from climate and climate change.
Jules Pretty has an inspirational photographic gallery from this journey on his website:
Patrick Barkham ‘do we still need nature reserves’: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/aug/24/blakeney-point-coastal-nature-reserve-centenary
This also includes the brilliant quote from the Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh:
“All great civilisations are based on parochialism, … To know fully even one field or one land is a lifetime’s experience. In the world of poetic experience it is depth that counts, not width. A gap in a hedge, a smooth rock surfacing a narrow lane, a view of a woody meadow, the stream at the junction of four small fields – these are as much as a man can fully experience.”
… which could also be an interesting reflection on the nature of the archaeological study of landscapes – and nicely links back to the Vale of Pickering.