Pilgrimpace's Blog

landscape, democracy, access

I’m really enjoying reading Ken Worpole and Jason Orton’s The New English Landscape. A wonderful essay and photographs meditating on how the centre of consciousness for English nature writing has shifted since the War to the East Anglian coastal fringe, and particularly Essex.

© Jason Orton

© Jason Orton

I have some roots in this area.  Jason and I shared a house 25 years ago when we were students at Essex University.  I spent a great many formative hours poking around the derelict docks around Wivenhoe as I thought my way towards my Finals.

I love Ken Worpole’s introduction to the essay:

The new English landscape of this essay is an imaginative construct, a personal attempt to meld together historic, aesthetic and ecological elements around the issues of habitat, landscape and sense of place which have been in play in Britain since the end of the Second World War.  Like many, I believe that a unique political settlement was achieved in 1945, changing the attitudes of people towards each other, to their life opportunities, and to a new world being created around them.  This settlement elided a decline in social deference with a more outgoing attitude towards social and geographical mobility, which , with increased wealth and opportunities for holidays and outdoor recreation, democratised attitudes to the landscape and access to it.


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