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Friday, 2 June 2017

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.


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.

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 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