Silton Oak, Dorsetshire

Engrav’d by J.Greig for the Antiquarian & Topographical Cabinet
from a Drawing by J.Fenton Esq.

When this engraving was first published in 1810, the Silton Oak was already considered to be an antiquarian and topographical curiosity. Over 200 years later and it still charms us with its stoic endurance, a vigorous but shrinking survivor of a once much larger millennial oak tree. Continue reading “Silton Oak, Dorsetshire”

Frames of reference

A Holloways Walk

We came to Symondsbury for breakfast, the best coffee and bacon roll in months, then down past the church and up the hill to Shute’s Lane. We were staying under Eggardon and we’d already driven down a tunnel of green lanes to get here. This one was closed to traffic so now we were on foot. Continue reading “A Holloways Walk”

Frames of reference

Deep Lanes & Holloways

We were in West Dorset at last and I was elated. I’d long wanted to drive these roads. We were in a maze of high banks and hedgerows, hidden from the wind, burrowing back down to earth, gone to ground. Continue reading “Deep Lanes & Holloways”

Frames of reference

An Easter Sunday Walk

This is the cricket ground at Roebuck Green, Buckhurst Hill where we started from. Maybe I should’ve titled this post Walking With Shadows, I was so taken with them that’s almost all I photographed, they were so strong and well-defined. It was a bright Sunday and for once, instead of avoiding the busier parts of the forest, we just dived straight in, choosing to follow the wider paths. Mostly it was not too crowded. Continue reading “An Easter Sunday Walk”

Frames of reference

A Good Friday Walk

For the first time in months we slipped out of the house and into the car and drove to the quietest part of the forest. There were distant sounds of dogs barking from the kennels over the fields and the woods were a chorus of all kinds of birdsong (this place is noted for nightingales) but there were no other people, so that counts as quiet. Some parts of the forest can get overrun, especially on a holiday weekend, but this is not one of them. All day we saw only two other people and they were on horseback. We were the only walkers. But we met many trees. The first was this broken tree, with half of its crown folded and fallen upside down to the ground, its branches radiating all around like an asterisk or a baptismal cross, symbolic of life, death, rebirth and regeneration. It’s a sign of Easter. Would it be renewed and resurrected by the time we returned? I hoped so. Continue reading “A Good Friday Walk”

Frames of reference

By Our Selves

Toby Jones, Andrew Kötting (as a straw bear) and their merry men revive the wanderings and wonderings of Northamptonshire peasant poet John Clare, on a quest “for scenes where man hath never trod”.

Toby Jones, Iain Sinclair and Andrew Kötting (dressed as a Straw Bear), made a five-day walk from Epping Forest to Helpston in Northamptonshire, following in the footsteps of the poet John Clare. Clare’s delirious march is the spine of the project. A great English pilgrimage, a self-enacted novel in the tradition of Pilgrim’s Progress.

A film by Andrew Kötting, with Iain Sinclair, Freddie Jones, Toby Jones, David Aylward, Eden Kötting, Simon Kovesi, MacGillivray, Alan Moore and many more.

By Our Selves / Andrew Kötting

Frames of reference

Walking In The Woods (3)

This green cathedral is at Jacks Hill, Epping Forest. It was October 2020, the last time it was safe to go walking in the woods. The Covid beast has been at large and we’ve all been advised to stay at home. But deep in the forest, away from the crowds, is perhaps the safest place to be. I’m writing this in late March, the sun is shining outside and I am missing the trees. Continue reading “Walking In The Woods (3)”

Frames of reference

Walking In The Woods (2)

I’ve been coming to Epping Forest for over 40 years, but I never saw this magnificent oak pollard at Rushey Plain pond before today. Complete with wasps nest. There’s always something new to discover here, and it all looks different every time. Continue reading “Walking In The Woods (2)”

Frames of reference