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Sunday, 24 September 2017

Fantasy Island

Fantasy Island
Fantasy Island, Ingoldmells. Yes, another reference to brexit!

Bohemian Promenade
Bohemia Promenade, Sutton-on-Sea.

Shrimp fishernan
Shrimp fisherman, Sutton-on-Sea.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

The end

So, this is the end of the Viking Way. 200 miles, I had to go back to the car every-time, in effect I walked it twice. I have set up a small website as a side project with usual musings https://spark.adobe.com/page/6qT6lYFam1TlG/  - enjoy...

Detectorists
Detectorists

Dead gull on chalk pebble beach
Dead gull on chalk pebble beach

South Ferriby cement works
South Ferriby cement works. The Lincolnshire Wolds is littered with chalk quarries. Conveyor belts, miles long, transport the chalk down to the cement works on the Humber.

Thunderbird 4 - Humberside Airport
The one good thing about chalk and clay pits (apart from concrete and bricks) is that they make great wildlife reserves when finished.

Barton boat yar
Barton boat yard

Visitor centre
Visitor centre

Dog fisher
Dog fisher

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Rocket base

Thunderbird 4 - Humberside Airport
Lincolnshire's secret rocket base turns out to be a replica of Thunderbird 3 at Humberside Airport.

The white cliffs

Chalk Quarry - Melton Ross
Chalk Quarry - Melton Ross


Cement factory - Melton Ross

Monday, 19 June 2017

Brocklesby show

Jack Russel
It's country show season again. Part of the Police Anti-wildlife Crime Unit display at Brocklesby country show.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Horses in purdah

Horse in purdah
Horses can suffer from nasty fly afflictions during the summer and sometimes need to be covered. It makes them look a little weird, as though they were in purdah, but they seem to be able to go about their business as normal.

Is it farming?

Factory farm
Farms are really starting to look like factories these days, they just get bigger and bigger. Though it's difficult to tell at ground level, this one looks about the size 20 football pitches. Often it's not possible to tell what is inside them, could be chickens, pigs, cows (for milk).

Some of us have a big moral problem with the treatment of animals in this way. The farmers (can they still be called farmers?) know this. Most of these 'factories' are built in out-of-the-way places and are often hidden at ground level by the planting of high hedging. This one, being new, can be seen clearly from the road.

"The Independent has identified dozens of such farms operating across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, pinpointing - for the first time - at least 50 confinement units, and 20 CAFO-style facilities. More are understood to be in the pipeline. The largest units hold over 2,000 cows, in comparison to the average UK herd size of around 125." The Independent

BUY FREE RANGE!

More on super farms

Friday, 2 June 2017

NO FORNICATION

Adding to my collection of landowners officious signage... It's the first time I have seen a sign that prohibits fornication and the throwing of dogs into lakes!

I think that if it was legal, some landowners would class ramblers alongside rats, crows and wood pigeons as vermin and shoot them on sight. Or, maybe even hunt them like foxes on horseback with hounds.

Footpath sign


Normanby le Wold Radar Station. Just added this one as it's nearby and I like the way the lollipop trees mimic the radar tower, a kind of visual pun.

Radar station


Where buzzards mew

I have a habit of mocking Lincolnshire's landscape. It's a kind of self mockery, loving and not malicious. I concede there are parts of Lincolnshire that are beautiful to walk through, where skylarks sing, buzzards mew and cows moo. Though, it's still a landscape shaped by agriculture and the leisure industry. There is conflict here between the past and the future, between the haves and have nots, between the landowners and the tourists. This landscape is still an industrialised and social landscape.

Lincolnshire Wolds Nettleton


Lincolnshire Wolds Nettleton


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Walesby beacon

Walesby beacon - Lincoln Cathedral is on the horizon 20 miles away just right of the beacon though, you wont see it at screen resolution.

Walesby Beacon

4 miles of boring

The first four miles of the Viking Way between Woodhall Spa and Horncastle is a straight (it's an abandoned railway line), beautifully manicured footpath through the woods. The first 20 minutes is wonderful echoing bird song and leaves rustling in the breeze. After that it becomes a little boring as you can only see forward and backwards.

Woodhall Spa woods

Occasionally you come across the inevitable piece of public art. At least this is relevant and well made... and it breaks the boredom.

Viking longboat sculpture

Thursday, 11 May 2017

World's tallest

When it was built in the 1960's the Belmont TV transmitter was the tallest structure of it's kind (cylindrical tube) in the world. You would think that it would spoil the landscape but I kind of like it. If it was erected in the Lake District I would probably think different.

Belmont TV transmitter



Saturday, 6 May 2017

The Lincolnshire Alps

Continuing my random wanderings along the Viking Way into the Lincolnshire Wolds...

Lincolnshire Wolds



Taking pictures in the picturesque landscape of the Lincolnshire Wolds is difficult. The Wolds have a grand beauty of their own. Intensively farmed big fields on gently rolling hills lends itself to a minimalist approach though, this can easily lead to the trap of style over substance.

Lincolnshire Red cattle

Lincolnshire Red cattle in open pasture on top of the Wolds. This rare scene is how we imagine cattle should be reared and this is probably some of the happiest prime steak in the country.

Unfortunately, away from the Wolds, factory farms are the norm, where cattle rarely or never see daylight. Don't believe the supermarket marketing imagery of happy animals on packaging and delivery trucks.

Refreshments

At 450 feet above sea level, the village of Fulnetby proudly boasts, on an information sign, of being the second highest village in the Lincolnshire Wolds. The local church offers refreshments to weary travellers. After that climb I'm not surprised ;-)

Van top shed


It's the top of an old lorry used as a shed though, it appears so much more sinister than that!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Barren land

I've been sick the past couple of weeks so, I'm getting back into walking, here's a varied selection images from my local neighbourhood...

Polling Station - North Carlton

Some of the locals are so conservative that they did not approve of the church being used as a polling station (North Carlton).

Dry, cracked soil




It's a dry spring, no rain for weeks and none forecast. What passes for soil in this intensively farmed landscape is now suffering moisture deficiency as well as nutrient deficiency. Crops can no longer be grown on this land but for the injection of chemicals. The soil has no life, it is just mineral, no organic matter to retain moisture, no bacteria to break down matter and provide nutrients, no worms and bugs for wildlife.

Field edge

Even the field edges are made barren by the use of weed killer, to stop nature encroaching.

Tazer
This is the inside of a car dumped at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Contents included the dashboard and armrest console, the air conditioning unit, various drugs related paraphernalia and a taser!


Friday, 7 April 2017

Platform 1, Southrey

Southrey is a small village at the end of a dead end road, you would hardly know it exists. It once had a railway station and a ferry across the River Witham, it took only three hours to get to London. All that is left left now is a platform and a sign and a smattering of cyclists along the river. The village itself thrives but, like most villages these days, more as dormitory than an entity in its own right.


Southrey railway station

Southrey railway station


St.John the Divine Church

St.John the Divine Church


Bardney

Bardney is strange and off the beaten track. Pilgrims of all kinds have come to this thriving village in the middle of flatland nowhere for centuries. Home to a 7th century abbey whose ruins are hardly ever visited today and responsible for the Lincolnshire rebuff to anyone not closing a door, "do you come from Bardney"*. In 1972 Bardney hosted a pop festival 'The Great Western Festival', with International acts including Status Quo, Roxy Music, Rory Gallagher, Joe Cocker and The Byrds - in BARDNEY! Bardney is also home to the smallest Catholic Church I have seen, a sugar factory and of one of the best butcher shops in the county whose 'award winning' pies are truly magnificent...


Bardney Abbey


Bardney Abbey


St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church

St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church


Cake and Offal sign

Cake and Offal sign

*Bede relates that Bardney Abbey was greatly loved by Osthryth, queen of Mercia, and in about 679 she sought to move the bones of her uncle, St Oswald there. However, when the body was brought to the Abbey the monks refused to accept it. The relics were locked outside, but during the night a beam of light appeared and shone from his bier reaching up into the heavens. The monks declared that it was a miracle and accepted the body, hanging the King's Purple and Gold banner over the tomb. They are also said to have removed the great doors to the Abbey so that such a mistake could not occur again. Hence the rebuff  to a door left open - "do you come from Bardney

Thursday, 30 March 2017

The Viking Way

I have taken this road trip off road for a while and I am now walking the Viking Way. No, that's not a euphemism for a silly walk, it's a long distance footpath (about 140 miles) which traverses Lincolnshire and Rutland. I am hoping to see a little more of the actual land rather than what is at the roadside. Here are some images from the first few miles near Grantham...

Viking Way way-marker


The Viking Way way-marker displays the most recognisable symbol of the Vikings, the horned helmet. Something the Vikings never actually wore. I guess it's an invention of Hollywood, the Victorians maybe, operatic costume designers, comic books etc. Myth becomes history!

Viking Way



The Viking Way is mainly farm tracks and cross country footpaths - time to buy some serious walking boots!

Energy field


Oil dereks and solar panels in the same field. With energy production being more profitable and less hassle than food production farmers are really milking the land.

Red Kite


Red Kites were extinct in Lincolnshire until recently, I never saw one as a child. Everywhere you look now you see Buzzards, Kestrels, Sparrow Hawks, though, there seems to be fewer owls these days.

motocross track


Making the most of non arable land. Part-time grazing and motocross track.

Viking Way



Thursday, 2 March 2017

Julian's Bower

Julian's Bower, one of the few remaining turf mazes in Britain was first recorded in 1697 is sited at Alkborough in the furthest northwest corner of Lincolnshire. It overlooks the the reclaimed land of the River Humber. Maze patterns were adopted by the early church as a symbol of the of the Christian path to salvation. The pattern can also be found on the floor of the local church and on gravestones.

Julian's Bower

Monday, 16 January 2017

Happy New Year

Big Image Seller



Big Issue seller, Lincoln

Most people's NY resolutions are about themselves (keep fit, stop smoking etc.), which is a bit of a selfish way to start the year, particularly after all the self-indulgence of the holiday season. I thought I would make this years resolution something that benefits those less fortunate.

New Year resolution 2017 - be generous!