Meadowland Review


I’ve recently finished the third of the library books I snagged a while back, ‘Meadowland’ by John Lewis-Stempel. The book is effectively a series of diary entries (although admittedly much more crafted than that implies) all relating to three fields in a small-holding in Herefordshire and the flora and fauna which inhabit those fields. It’s a very easy and enjoyable read and I would highly recommend it.



The farm which provides the setting is by the Escley River (the OS map has Escley Brook) on the fringes of the Black Mountains, which added to the interest for me because it’s an area I’ve visited a couple of times, and which is much frequented by my old mucker Andy.


These photos are from a tail-end of March evening stroll around Haweswater and the Gait Barrows nature reserve. It was a dull evening and I was making the most of the last of the light. What sticks in my mind at this remove was the duelling thrushes and blackbirds giving song from every tree-top.


This last, out-of-focus shot, was taken a few days later through our kitchen window.


There’s a tall silver birch just beyond the window (almost certainly too close to the house) and it’s often diverting to watch small birds bobbing about in its branches. I wasn’t wearing my glasses and asked the rest of the family: “What’s that bird – it’s very green?”

TBH suggested that in that case it might be a finch, but even without my spectacles I thought it seemed too small and too dumpy for that to be true. It’s the third time recently that I’ve seen a goldcrest, after a long spell when I can’t recall spotting any. Interesting to have a myopic perspective on them – I usually think that their salient feature is that striking golden stripe, but when I couldn’t see that what stood out was an overall impression of greenness.

Meadowland Review

8 thoughts on “Meadowland Review

  1. AlanR says:

    Yes. Sorry i meant the “is” to represent confirmation rather than an open comment. It should have been underlined but i clicked send etc etc. You know how it happens.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      You should. Oddly enough I’m reading another one now about a family who moved to a tiny village near Leomester. It’s very funny.

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