Quantock workshop posts

 
 

Orchard Roots: Apple Day in the Quantocks – video

While across the UK orchards have declined by as much as 63% in the past half century, places like Somerset can still boast more than their fair share of apple trees. The Quantock Hills, to the west of Bridgwater, aren’t known for their orchards, but studies suggest they might have covered more of the Quantocks […]

 

Further Funding Received for Quantocks Orchard Project

Peter Coates has received £7,310 (75% from the Quantock Hills Sustainable Development Fund and 25% from the University of Bristol’s Lady Emily Smyth Bequest for horticultural research, administered by the School of Biological Sciences) to pursue a 7-week (or equivalent) project entitled ‘Fallen Fruits: Mapping Orchard Decline in the Quantock Hills at Parish Level with […]

 
Mapping orchards in the Quantock Hills – Project report

Mapping orchards in the Quantock Hills – Project report

Orchards are integral to the Somerset landscape. The production and consumption of apples and cider has fed the local identity in addition to the local economy, and the cultivation of orchards has shaped the landscape, with fields of lined fruit trees characterising the Somerset levels. Rising from the levels are the hills and coombes of […]

 
A look back on the Quantock Hills and forward to Kielder

A look back on the Quantock Hills and forward to Kielder

By Tim Cole In The Official Guide to the Quantocks, Exmoor Country and the Adjacent Sea Coast published by Williton Rural District Council in the 1930s, the Quantock hills were offered up to the visitor as ‘clothed in a wonderful variety of colours’ reflecting changing seasonal patterns of vegetation: ‘Blue as heaven’ (bluebells) faded to […]

 

The Quantock Hills workshop

The second workshop of the Histories of Environmental Change network took place in the Quantock Hills from 1 to 3 March 2011. On this podcast David Moon and Paul Warde talk about their impressions of the workshop, including what landscape beauty means and what people visiting a preserved landscape like the Quantocks are looking for. […]

 
Selected paintings by Jenny Graham

Selected paintings by Jenny Graham

By Peter Coates Network participants will agree that Jenny Graham’s post-prandial presentation at Halsway Manor on the Wednesday evening, ‘Painting the Hills: Images of the Quantock Hills and Surrounding Countryside’, was one of the highlights of the workshop. Jenny’s thought-provoking talk and paintings inspired a good deal of wide-ranging and open-ended discussion – which is […]

 

From Somerset to the Serengeti: low and high, rich and poor

By Peter Coates Inspired by Petra Van Dam’s reflections on ‘The Beautiful and the Global’. I’m moved to respond to Petra’s stimulating reflections, infused with personal history, on our conceptions of beauty and the sublime with reference to lowlands and highlands and the role of individual landscape conditioning. This task has kept me indoors for […]

 
Views from Friends of Quantock

Views from Friends of Quantock

On the first evening of the workshop, two members of Friends of Quantock introduced participants to the Quantock Hills and the independent group that has sought to protect its beauty and other landscape values since 1949. Denys White provided an historical perspective while Alan Hughes covered more recent history and the situation today (Peter Coates). […]

 
The beautiful and the global

The beautiful and the global

By Petra van Dam I would like to reflect on a few of the questions that turned up during our meeting in the Quantock Hills. First the question of ‘natural beauty’, raised by the fact that the Quantocks are England’s first ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. Is beauty an intrinsic aspect of the landscape or […]

 

The Diversity of landscape experience

By Andy Flack – University of Bristol Throughout last week’s workshop in the Quantock Hills, I was struck by the way in which the landscape is so often spoken of in predominantly visual terms; terms which seem to imply, and even encourage, a certain detachment from the physical land itself. As I focussed my gaze […]

 

Pandaemonium: In the Shadow of Hinkley Point (and Easyjet)

By Peter Coates On Thursday evening, on the projector screen in the bar/sitting room, accompanied by a crackling fire, the six members of the group staying an extra night settled down to watch a film lent by Tim Russell. ‘Pandaemonium’ (2001) is Julien Temple’s two-hour film about the relationship between Wordsworth and Coleridge during the […]

 

From ‘the environment’ to ‘an environment’ (of outstanding natural beauty)

By Peter Coates Opening address delivered at the Quantocks on Tuesday 1 March 2011 Welcome to the western edge of the second oldest of England’s thirty-one designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which, collectively, cover 15% of the country. This is also one of the smallest, at 99 square kilometres. In fact, only 6 […]

 
The Slippery Eel in the Room

The Slippery Eel in the Room

By Peter Coates During the Quantocks workshop, the cliché ‘elephant in the room’ surfaced on at least a couple of occasions (the room in question being a dark wood-panelled and excruciatingly cosy sitting room-cum-bar, complete with roaring fire). As I recall, among the elephants alluded to were the alleged ‘whiteness’ of the English countryside (which […]

 

Light on Beauty: An antipodean view

By Libby Robin A piece in response to Peter Coates’ opening talk at the Quantocks “‘From the Environment to an Environment (of Outstanding Natural Beauty)’, 1 March 2011. So much of beauty is about light. The sunset and the moonlight – classic ‘natural beauty’ moments – are measured by Bristol psychologists by pupil dilation. ‘Pupil […]

 

The Fens and the Quantocks

By Paul Warde Some of this piece is adapted from comments provided to the AHRC-funded ‘Climate histories’ network on 21 January 2011. Our interest in the Fens (and more precisely Wicken Fen) and the Quantocks is in itself following a well-trodden path in thinking about nature and the environment; the demarcation of special spaces, islands […]