The Broads

The difficulties of balancing inner and outer, self and other… We move in and out of ourselves… I begin to see the meaning of living in this landscape, formed by centuries of interaction between human work and the wild. The Broads – lakes, rivers, marshes and wet woodland – are flooded medieval peat workings crisscrossed by dykes, products of failed attempts to drain the land as sea levels rose. (The landscape is dotted with ruined and restored pumping mills.) Today coastal and inland reserves provide conditions for countless plants and animals that would be lost without patient maintenance: seaside embankments conserve habitats of migratory birds, careful reedcutting creates homes for different species of local birds and invertebrates, biomanipulation and dredging restore lakes, light livestock grazing prevents reforestation and makes space for rare plants… All to allow for variation and controlled growth, as when you unravel bindweed from the stem of a flower.

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