Druridge Bay, an eight mile arc of sand running north from Cresswell to the harbour of Amble in Northumberland, strewn with wetlands. From lagoons stained the deepest green by summer algae to flooded tyre ruts, glinting water in the arable fields. This blog is a snapshot of research at the University of Northumbria as we explore this pondscape forged between northern sea and sky.
Christmas Eve in the UK.... Stonehaven in north-east Scotland is flooded whilst in the south-west of England train lines are closed as heavy rains flood off the sodden fields. Britains' once safe conversation topic of the weather has become an uncertain and alarming subject. We have a Minister for Floods and a growing sense of political fear; fear of water. At a time of grim cuts to government spending flood defences have suddenly received a reprieve. Schemes are to be hurried up, or reprieved and new ones proposed. Druridge Bay remains glinting under the mid winter skies, either mirror-grey sheets of water under the unbroken cloud or dazzling platinum as the sun travels low. A local farm manager warns me that bread prices will rise sharply becuase so much winter wheat has been lost to the deluge. That lake in the picture above is supposed to be a field green with shoots of wheat. Mid winter has always been that uneasy see- saw between the old and new. Come droughts and floods we will be back up at the Bay exploring the exquisite pondscape in January. Meanwhile a Merry Christmas to everyone who reads the blog (....and that includes folk in Russia, Italy, Germany, the USA; we hope the wild northern landscapes of Northmberland cast something of their spell on you) and a Happy New Year. Mike J.