Monday, 18 March 2013

On Swanscombe Marsh II

Some more pictures from my recent Swanscombe Marsh trip...

I pretty much had the place to myself for three hours though did come across a couple of people - a solitary man striding along, a father with his young daughter on bikes and a man walking his dog. The latter stopped to talk to me and I was struck by his enthusiasm for the place. He told me that he had been coming here regularly for 6 or 7 years and appreciated the peace and quiet and the wide-open spaces. There were carp to be found in the pools and he had even seen a kingfisher on occasions. Sadly, he said that quite a lot of local people were in favour of the proposed development as they thought it might bring about an increase in the value of their homes, better road infrastructure and lots of jobs. The surrounding area is quite run down and who can blame people for wanting what many would see as improvements - peace and quiet and open space cannot compete with these sorts of benefits in most people's eyes.

I can imagine that many people looking at these photographs would wonder what was worth preserving - it is after all a rather desolate and scrappy looking landscape littered with pylons and bits of rusting metal. It is difficult to measure the importance of this kind of liminal space on the edge of the city but once built upon, it will be gone forever. And does the world really need another theme park? I know which I would prefer.....

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