Through bluebelled Gillfield with my old friend and fellow landscape obsessive, Judith. At the edge of the wood we catch the fruity song of the blackcap and spot him in a tree. The ashes are still almost bare in comparison with the oaks - in for a splash?
On Fanshawe Gate Lane the hedgerow is twined with tall twists of briony:
On the way back, we talk about the peasant poet John Clare and his deep emotional connection with the landscape in which he lived - to the extent that he became ill when moving only 3 miles from it. Judith went on to talk about what the government call "placemaking" and how they have sort of co-opted this idea of emotional connection with place as a way in to "consultation" with local people. Although this can be good in many ways, she feels that it is often shallow and a distraction from the more deep rooted issues. A bit like Tesco stocking organic veg I suppose.
3 days ago