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  • A Year in Kingcombe: April

    The trees, still mainly leafless, maintained their wintery silhouettes, but there was a sort of haze, a shimmer, in their upper branches now, like a whisper made visible, the hint of new growth, the gathering of the green storm.

  • One Place — Poetry by Jane Routh

    ‘When you know a place lifelong, you’ve no need of maps;
    every name has its shapes and its feel underfoot:
    Helks, Jacksons Pasture, Perry Moor – even the fields
    have names: Robins Close, Parrocks Meadow.’

  • Made in England by Fran Edgerley

    She loves the stories hidden in the landscape – particular hedges, the small paths that signify cross-breeding links, farming styles, a new kerbside or a route home. To me Dorothy Hartley is a fellow student following the complex web of how the physical, natural world translates to our daily and cultural material experience.

  • Shepherd’s Watch by Melanie Viets

    I slip my hand deep inside the ewe. Reach in turn for one front hoof then bent leg. My fingers meet the inner wall of the ewe’s womb, her muscles ribbed in symmetry with the ridges of the ram’s horns.

  • The Signless Signpost by Peter Reason

    As the water poured over the sills we could see it in several different forms: hanging just above the top sill, oily blue, darkly mirroring the sky; falling in a smooth sheet down the face of the weir, sparkling with light; breaking into cataracts that fell like braids; tumbling chaotically over the next sill; and so on down.

  • Dear Vodafone by Martin Maudsley

    I’m writing to you about a tree. A pine tree, perhaps a hundred years old, maybe a little older, that until yesterday stood on a hill at the edge Bridport in Dorset. It’s a tree that you felled yesterday to make way for a new mobile phone mast. I’ll tell you the story as it happened, and at the end I’ll ask you to tell me a story in return.

  • A Year in Kingcombe: March

    For the team at Kingcombe, the garden’s design and layout is geared far more to visitors with six or eight legs than two. In one corner is a well-stocked bug hotel, thoughtfully kitted out with bits of twig and straw, flowerpots stuffed with hollow bamboo stems, pinecones, hunks of mossy bark and scrolls of corrugated card. The only thing that’s missing is a little swinging sign saying ‘Vacancies’.

  • To the pantheon of charismatic animals, can we add another? By Hilary Macmillan

    If you are lucky enough to witness roosting horseshoe bats, you may see them gently swinging to and fro, rather like a gymnast about to start a routine on the high bars. They have switched on their directional sonar and are detecting your whereabouts. They know you are there.

  • New Poems from Mike Barlow

    When it rains in the hills the river down here

    sings a wild song, foams at the mouth,

    twists its tongue on the messages it brings,

    keeps us in our place.

  • Beyond the Fell Wall by Richard Skelton

    Richard Skelton has spent nearly half a decade living in a small valley, high in the Furness hills of Cumbria, in northern England. Beyond the Fell Wall is a distillation of his thoughts and observations on this particular patch of land.

  • Oak Grove by Seán Lysaght

    Trees have character, just like animals and people. Some have grown tall and rangy in a rush for elevation; others have a more rounded crown and are already strongly branched. When I am alone among the trees, I often stand under my favourite, a fourteen-footer that spreads its tent of foliage over a young tree’s muscular limbs, and casts a cosy, yellowish gloom of light around me. Seán Lysaght on watching trees grow.

  • A Year in Kingcombe: February

    When I squatted down for a closer look, it revealed itself to be not stone but bone: the skull of a small mammal, the filigree of bone exposed on the underside, half a jaw, with a good set of teeth, lying separately. Hans Holbein couldn’t have devised it more perfectly: shift your angle just a little, look at something askance, and there’s a death’s head grinning back at you.