Last Saturday on a mild and sunny morning, I met some poets (and their dogs) to walk from the village of Shurton up to the Bristol Channel coast. The group of poets are led by Chris Jelley, who has been managing the Poetry Pin project.
Following in the footsteps of Coleridge and Wordsworth, the poets seek inspiration from the changing landscape of this part of West Somerset. Today that major change is the proposed development of Hinkley Point C.
Their poems are embedded within the landscape and easily downloaded if you have a smartphone.
The public right of way follows close to the boundary of the Hinkley Point development area, crossing fields along an old trackway, passing uphill to the Green Lane and down to spectacular views across the Quantock hills and coast.
At certain parts of the walk we were able to stop and talk about the archaeological excavations that have taken place in the valley and on the higher ridge nearer the coast. I was able to share photographs of the archaeologists at work and some of the features and finds they discovered.
As we reached the coast, the prehistoric burial mound of Wick Barrow was almost visible in the distance. Other prominent landmarks were Steep Holm island which once had a Roman signal station and medieval priory and Brean Down, home to an Iron Age hillfort and Romano- British temple. We realised that the early inhabitants at Hinkley Point did not live in isolation. Trading and communication up and down the Bristol Channel would have been central to their lives.
Thank you to Chris and members of Poetry Pin for inviting me on your walk and sharing your wonderful poems. Who knows, I may even try to write one of my own!