Landscape, Legacy

The land opens

Love of Plaxtol has to see beyond the opening of the year. It’s not always easy to be inspired by the parish in the months of January and February. Of course, there are the occasional shining days — a dazzling frost and soul-soaring sunrise — but, on the whole, these are the months when Plaxtol […]

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Quote

Every man almost is a builder, and … will not be quiet till he have pulled down the old house (if any were there standing) and set up a new after his own device.

William Harrison, Description of England (1577)

Legacy

1300 lost villages

Land use statistics are abstract. What matters is people’s experience of the countryside. If a couple of small fields are developed, that will not make a dent in the statistics, but it matters hugely to people for whom those few fields are the countryside as they experience it every day.

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Away, Featured, Legacy, Lives

The break in the chain

Meat used to be a matter of confidence and pride. Every market town held its own local fat stock show and sale in the weeks before Christmas, where farmers would compete to present the best-finished beef animal and butchers would vie to outbid each other to secure the champion beast and the honour of offering its meat […]

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Legacy, Lives

What do you see?

For the uninitiated, the Plaxtol sign can appear baffling. What could a woolly goat standing proudly upon a mountain crag possibly have to do with a parish spanning the Bourne valley in decidedly lowland Kent?

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Legacy, Lives

Ragwort Alert

It is that time of year again. The cherries are ripe, the plums not yet coloured, the brambles are studded with hard, green, fuzzy promises. Meadowsweet is in bloom, so that lucky damp lanes are filled with the deep honey scent from its curdy panicles of flower … and wherever I go in Plaxtol I […]

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Legacy, Lives

‘Summer’s still all to come’ – the swifts’ return

The swallow may be the signal of the season, the red, white and blue ensign of the English summer, with all its bucolic associations of roses and hay meadows, garden fêtes and picnics, but for me the swift’s high cries and the sight of those slender black silhouettes slicing through the sky mark the true […]

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