Author Archives: brianhuman

Maize Maze

Another alternative crop.  Rectory Farm on the Fen-edge at Landbeach harvests leisure.  Hidden in the field is the Maize Maze, a jungly labyrinth in the meandering form of a castle and dragon for family adventures.  At the end of the … Continue reading

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Sustainable Fenland

The early morning sun picks up a ruler-straight line of light across the graphic landscape of the Fens.  A solar array.  The Fens, drained over the centuries in what Ian Rotham claims is the ‘greatest single ecological catastrophe that ever … Continue reading

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Tourism Backlash

On Saturday 12th August the Guardian carried a full page article, ‘Wish you weren’t here: locals take on tourists in Europe’s crowded hotspots’.  Spain is the focus for much of the spate of anti-tourist incidents reported, but it’s not alone … Continue reading

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Car Futures

Computer controlled self-driving cars are being touted as the future for motoring.  Well, just maybe, though it has the ring of one of those mistaken ‘Tomorrow’s World’ promises about it.  Will it be safer, or at least as safe as … Continue reading

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Beechwoods Origins

I went to the Cambridgeshire Collection today to see if old OS maps of the Beechwoods give any clues as to why it has its distinctive shape.  The map for 1903 shows the familiar modern shape for the woods established … Continue reading

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Beechwoods Block?

I walked in the Beechwoods early this morning.  The sky was heavily overcast, lending the woods a flat, sombre, in places gloomy, air.  The play of light and shade that characterises the woods on good summer days was gone.  I … Continue reading

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Bartlow Enigma

What is this object, one of several, hunkered down in a shelter belt near Hills Farm, Bartlow?  A trap? If so, what for?  A military left over?  Left over from what? Ventilation for something running underground?    An unlikely place for … Continue reading

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‘The Treachery of Images’

This seems an extreme way to fill a gap in a hedgerow.  Why not just continue the fence or, better still, plant a couple of hawthorns and let nature finish the job?  Even more curious, on the other side is … Continue reading

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Beechwoods Moment

I often hear people talk about ‘living in the moment’.  I’m not quite sure what that means, but it does seem foolish to both ignore the lessons of past experience and fail to plan for a rewarding future.  Better to … Continue reading

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Beechwoods – Road Less Travelled

Three of the most quoted lines in poetry are: ‘Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – / I took the one less travelled by, / And that has made all the difference.’, from Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not … Continue reading

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Beechwood Variations

If I sit here and try to imagine The Beechwoods, indeed a beech wood, the image is of smooth, grey bare-trunked trees rising up from a ground of mast, leaf litter and a few herby plants, broken here and there … Continue reading

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Street Photography – Two Views

Earlier this week I spent an hour with David Runnacles drinking coffee and looking through his latest Cambridge street photography.  David has a very distinctive style.  His slices of street life are inhabited by lots of people, usually in close … Continue reading

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Beechwoods in Leaf 2

On the 1st May I commented on the variable behaviour of the trees coming into leaf.  This picture from around then shows an extreme case of a dense crown on one tree amid an almost bare tracery of branches on … Continue reading

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Mismanaged Destination

I spent a large part of my professional life studying the impact of tourism on historic towns and promoting destination management.  In the blessing v blight debate I was inclined to the former and promoted value over volume.  Walking around … Continue reading

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Iceland at Balzano’s

Sue Brock-Hollinshead puts the finishing touches to her exhibition of photographs of Iceland at Balzano’s.  Ten pictures capture the stark simplicity of the landscape, its variety and the contrast between domesticity and the volcanic tensions beneath the surface.  It’s a … Continue reading

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