Back in March I took part in the ace conference Landscaping Change, held at Bath Spa and organised by Sam Walton. I talked about some haphazard ‘field work’ I’d done in two villages the previous summer, Laxton and Ashover. In the former I was interested in what farmer and local historian Stuart Rose had to say about the the uneasy relation between heritage and economic survival in this remaining example of open-field agriculture, and in the latter in the community of footpath restoration and communal walking that has recently taken off there, thanks to the indefatigable Richard Felton. Relationships between farming, recreation and conservation were central to both: these claims need closer attention than ever in what will presumably become the post-CAP landscape.
I was also very pleased for some work to appear in the anthology Sam edited to accompany the conference, published by Sad Press. Included in the anthology is half of a talk I gave for Verdant Intersections, at Birkbeck’s Contemporary Poetic Research Centre, on Colorado, open-range pastoral, fence lines and their ruptures, and pastoral cultural landscapes in Cumbria and the Spanish Pyrenees. Photography is by me and Leire Barrera-Medrano, but I can’t remember who took what.