Thursday, 7 July 2011

Hills and plains

A busy week, working on projects as diverse as sewing a fabric resource pack for Nottingham Contemporary, printing works for the Undiscovered Networks project and discovering more parts of the River Nene for the Three Jos in a boat project!

The county of Northamptonshire is very flat, hence the River Nene through here moves very slowly.  I discovered that BB visited a longer stretch of the river than I had previously thought, from Wollaston all the way to Alwalton.  So the project director Ros Stoddart and I decided to visit Wollaston to see what it was like.

The map of the River Nene produced by the Environment Agency for river users is interesting.  It focuses on the information that river users need, with just the briefest acknowledgment of surrounding roads.  Locks are more important to river users than towns or roads, these are the points for navigation and location.  This river map gives little information about the shape of the landscape around it.

So walking down from the hill from Great Doddington towards the river we suddenly become aware of how wide the river valley is.  As the village is up on a hill you get a marvelous view of the river below and some of the lakes around it.

I started to compare this with the experience I had had when travelling on the river as the Three Jos back in May and June.  When on a boat you feel incredibly "placed" with the river, the experience is very much on one plane.  So it was quite startling to see the river as part of a wider landscape and become aware of its valley.

The river from the boat.  Still waters.
Ideas for the River map are coming on well and I hope to do quite a lot of work on this over the next few weeks.

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