Monday, 16 December 2013

Fen, Land, Trees and Parks

I have been out and about recently and looking forward to seeing my family in Norfolk,East Anglia over the New Year. 

Marsh Grass Cas Holmes (commission for a retirement present)

3 December saw the 175th birthday Octavia Hill! another East Anglian - National Trust co-founder, visionary, tireless champion of green, open spaces for everyone.Born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire (1838). When she was 26, she established her first low-income housing project in the slums off of London's Marylebone Road. She also came to see the importance of open spaces after seeing the cramped and overcrowded conditions in which the city's poor were living. She campaigned for the preservation of, as she put it, "a few acres here and there-the hill top enables the Londoner to rise above the smoke, to feel a refreshing air for a little time and to see the sun setting in coloured glory which abounds so in the Earth God made." With that goal in mind, she co-founded Britain's National Trust for Places of Historic Interest and Natural Beauty in 1895. This year marks the 100th anniversary of her death; when she died in 1912, the National Trust had 713 members; it now has 4 million.
Octavia Hill, who said, "The need of quiet, the need of air, the need of exercise [...] the sight of sky and of things growing seem human needs common to all."

Wicken Fen, the first nature reserve acquired by the National Trust- in 1899. Photo by John Hughes, Wicken Fen ranger.

I recently had a visit to the Savill and Heather Gardens part of the Windsor Great Parks. There is still a lot of colour in winter. Loved the 'River of Grass'. It is often difficult to get the time just to 'look' and enjoy the time to investigate something new.

Loved how the spade looks like a miniature landscape

And a reminder that Spring is on its way.

Finally a sketch of Norfolk  reeds and a sketch of grasses by the Stour bring Norfolk and Kent together. You can see more at my exhibition at The Beaney which is on until 12th January.