There is much of the rivers length that we haven't covered so any chance to explore a new section, we had to take, and a small window of time appeared this evening. We drove out to Bures and parked up near Water Lane, where last year on another project I had lost my microphone connector from the tripod. Learning our lesson from last time, we were properly prepared with an Ordnance Survey map so quickly found the path heading north along the river valley. First thing we noticed was a man walking his dog who bid us good evening, before continuing along the well-defined path. We quickly came upon a willow plantation, some of which had recently been harvested. It was interesting to see it being farmed in this way with various areas at different stages of cultivation. We passed the man with the dog again and he stopped for a chat to tell us about the process and more about the local area. He was very friendly, and wanted to appear in our film, although he said he had no special talents. His dog, who was also very friendly, was called Socks. As we were talking a very large bird flew overhead which to me looked like a swan, but he said it was a stork. The wings made a beautiful soft sound as it passed directly over us... such a shame that we weren't recording.
We continued along the path and were struck by how lush and green all the new growth was. A huge hawthorn bush full of flowers filled the air with its heady scent. Ruth found a few oak trees which were adorned by oak apples (oak galls), we thought, but need to check it out to be sure (they were). It wasn't a sunset, as such, but the light was slowly fading, the air slowly cooling, and as it did so became slightly damp and chilly on my face. This just added to the sensations the whole environment provided as we walked along.
The oak and hawthorn gave way to a long line of pine trees which made us feel like we are suddenly in a different place. The terrain quickly changed again as we passed through a thicket, over a style, and emerged into yet another place with steep banks on the Essex side, a swan (the swan?) rummaging in the grass and lots of midges above our heads. We stopped to record here as it was very tranquil and a place that invited time to be spent in it. As we approached the rail crossing the train to Sudbury passed through, and even though this large machine carving its way through the countryside was quite a contrast to the surroundings its size, speed and trajectory somehow reflected the sedate, gently curving nature of the river.
The path became an incline passing in front of an old house which had just one light on outside. There was an old garage which looked like it hadn't been opened for years and we speculated as to what forgotten treasures lay inside. Further along the track was a pristine house with a thatched roof and a paddock in the back garden leading out towards the river. At the end of the lane (actually the beginning) was Chestnut House which had an amazing wisteria in full bloom covering much of its frontage.
Although we had nearly made it to Lamarsh the light was fading faster now so we turned round and headed back to Bures, seeing things from the opposite angle and noticing things that we hadn't seen on the outward trip. There were plenty of pheasants calling and moths emerging. The flowers in the half-light somehow still bright, their luminosity working hard to be seen. We noticed the moon, a slight crescent between the clouds.
We're very pleased to announce that we have been awarded two lots of funding to enable us to deliver the project: Arts Council England - Grants for the Arts, and Dedham Vale AONB Sustainable Development Fund.
We're now beavering away with all the formalities and will be documenting all of our activities using our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram streams.
More information shortly.