Sunday, 1 September 2019

100 years of the Forestry Commission

Now called Forestry England...
A major agent of change in the British Landscape.

Friday, 2 August 2019

GA Presidents Blog

I have spent much of the last four days researching the 1920s and the history of the Geographical Association for the next phase in my major project around my GA Presidency: the creation of a biography of all the presidents since 1893, and associated events. I've also been contacting lots of former Presidents and finding out a whole range of stories and connections to

Check out the project here.

I'm currently in 1927, and the most recent President to be added was Charles Close, who was Director General of the Ordnance Survey.




Monday, 29 July 2019

Welsh Landscapes captured

An attempt to capture the changing landscape of Wales




Read more about the project here. (PDF download)

It is using a range of images and data sets to capture the landscape.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Show your Stripes

All landscapes will potentially be affected by Climate Change...

We have been using the warming stripes for some time in our department, and I also have a natty warming stripes tie. I shall be wearing it on Friday when we Show our Stripes
Ed Hawkins is behind the stripes.
He has created a new website where you can download stripes for your own home region.

We will all be wearing the Stripes on the 21st of June. Posters are up in the Geography Classroom. Stickers are printed for everyone to wear.


Annual average temperatures for England from 1884-2018 using data from UK Met Office.

Graphics and lead scientist: Ed Hawkins, National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Reading.
Data : Berkeley Earth, NOAA, UK Met Office, MeteoSwiss, DWD.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

75 000 page views

Good to see there's still interest in this blog, as it passes 75 000 page views.
The main blog is LIVING GEOGRAPHY, where there's plenty more on landscapes.

Places of Poetry - The Fens

The Places of Poetry website has launched today.
I mentioned it earlier in the year when I first heard about it.
It is collecting poems which are written about places, which can then be pinned to an interactive map. Click the menu icon top right on the home page for all the details and to add your own poem.

Read about the project on the OS blog here. There is a link with the Ordnance Survey.

The project has been developed by Paul Farley and Professor Andrew McRae, who says:

“Poetry has been used across the centuries to reflect on places and their histories. We’re using modern technology to reinvigorate this model, and we hope that as many people as possible get involved. We are excited to see where people pin their poems, and what they say about the places that matter to them.”

I went on this morning and added my own poem to the map.
You can view and read it here, just outside of the city of Ely.
My poem also has a link to the Ordnance Survey, as it describes the survey of the Fens that was done in 1916, and imagines the challenges facing the surveyors of capturing this fluid and flat landscape with its shifting rivers and streams, only to find that an old Fenland boy spots a mistake. Fast-forward 100 years, and students on a geography fieldtrip, using their smartphones, notice a missing stream on their digital maps...



Why not write / add your own poem to the map to contribute.
The map is open for contributions until October, and I look forward to seeing more poems appearing over the next few months.

Here's the poem for those who might like to read it and haven't already...

Monday, 26 November 2018

Edward Storey - Fenland chronicler and poet

I have worked in the Fenland city of Ely for the last six years - commuting in all weathers and at all times through the Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Fens...



Edward Storey has died at the age of 88.
He was a chronicler of the Fens: an author and poet.
There was a lovely piece on Edward on BBC Radio Norfolk that I heard yesterday on the way home, which described him as 'a poet of place'.


You walk the roof of the world here.

Only the clouds are higher

And they are not permanent.
Trees are too distant for the wind to reach
And mountains hide below the horizon.
The wind labours through reed
As though they were the final barrier.
Houses and farms cling like crustations
To the black hull of the earth.
Here, you must walk with yourself,
Or share the spirits of forgotten ages.

Keith Skipper has written a lovely piece in the EDP.

More to come on Edward in a future blog post....

Image: Alan Parkinson - Fens near Manea - CC licensed