Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Ramble 2 - Sussex Hedgerow Inventory Project / Marlipins / A Shoreham boat

Three things I haven't reported back on as yet that I definitely want to catch thoughts on here:

1) A visit to meet Peter Challis who runs the Sussex Hedgerow Inventory Project

3) A visit to Marlipins Museum

2) A conversation I had with Hamish on his boat

The Hedgerow Inventory project is based at Woods Mill Nature Reserve where Sussex Wildlife Trust is, so of course before and after meeting with Peter I had a good look around.  I was surprised to come across a mossy stone figure reclining in amongst the grasses, a bird watching hut (which I sat in for a while recording sound) and some water droplets caught in a web.

The conversation with Peter was really informative, I picked up lots of information about Sussex in general and got to have a good look at all of the materials Peter has produced for logging Hedgerows and the species that they are made up of.  There were lots of lovely phrases (as there always are when you meet someone who is in an expert in another field to that of your own) such as "character areas" and "intact species rich".  For the last ten years Peter has actually been allocating every hedgerow in Sussex a unique number whenever the species it contains has been logged (with help from information provided by volunteers). I of course asked if any hedgerows in Shoreham by Sea had been examined and we found only one on the system. Hedge 1723.  I'm quite taken with the idea of hedge 1723 and am pretty sure it will make it into Ramble 2 in some way. 

After meeting Peter I looked around Marlipins Museum.  It's a treasure trove of information about Shoreham and stuffed with artefacts.  I lingered around a Lighthouse lamp for quite a while, the four sets of cats bones which had been found in the walls/floors of the building, some ships in bottles (always amazing), a statuesque figurehead, some ticket halves and a china spoon with a delicate design on it. And this really isn't all...but I don't want to make another long list, just record that I'd visited and will more than likely go back...

Come to think of it bones are becoming a bit of a theme. The museum has on display the skeleton of a woman, with little known about who she was (if my memory serves me correctly). In fact, now I know I'll be going back, just to read about her again...

Anyway, bones came to mind again as Hamish has quite a collection of found animal skeletons which I was able to look at when I visited him on his boat. We talked about the wishbone in a crow (amongst many other things) and the span of its wings. This was an interesting conversation as for me it connected back to Eliza Brightwen - the original inspiration behind this project - who was a great collector of bird skulls... There was lots more that was of interest in the chat I had with Hamish, but there's no time to report it all here... Suffice it to say, there's a theme emerging for me for sure out of this ramble:

Rings, Loops and Double-backs... 

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