3 of my photos are currently on display in the Celebrate Cuckmere exhibition in the Pump Barn at the Seven Sisters country park, Exceat. Check out the website for more details of the exhibition (Lisa and I did it – in fact I credit Lisa with most of the hard work, I just supervised and pointed in the right direction). Scroll down to see my images on the wall.
Lisa and I also helped with the marketing a bit – seems to have gone fairly well, there’s several mentions of it on the BBC website:
The exhibition also marks the end of the “Pathfinder project” – the government’s bullshit “public consultation” exercise aimed at deciding the future of the Cuckmere Valley (bit weird to hold this after they’d already announced they were going to withdraw maintenance of the flood defences right?).
Anyway, as far as I can tell the Pathfinder project can be summed up thusly: lots of people care very much and argued a lot about what should be done, everyone got rather stressed and frustrated with each other, and ultimately the conclusion of the project was that there’s a fair amount of support for reconnecting the river flow to the meandering section of the river (which is currently effectively a lake) – however nothing can really be done until there’s been feasibility studies and costings for this, so for now they’re going to basically do sod-all – continue maintaining it as they have been, and then go over the whole thing again in a couple of years once they’ve properly assessed the options I guess.
This is good news, I think – I would generally support the idea of reconnecting the river to its natural path, but only if it can be done without completely destroying the meanders – I reckon if you reconnected the meanders right now, they’d probably just all get washed away – they need re-planting with deep rooted plants or something rather than the thin layer of grass that’s there now..
(this is, assuming government don’t decide to go back on their promise to listen to the conclusions of the Pathfinder project)
Personally, I’m just glad I kept a distance from the whole thing – I’m not hugely interested in the impassioned arguments of locals, and from what people have said to me it sounds like the whole thing ended rather acrimoniously – everyone’s certainly being very careful not to be too controversial in public now.
I would certainly look forward to the day they may finally restore flow to the meandering section of the river – I think that would be an interesting thing to photograph.
Anyway, here’s my photos in the Celebrate Cuckmere exhibit:
(photos coutesy of North Laine).