As we prepare for the coming new opening season and the return of visitors to Orford Ness, a timely article on the Caught by the River website, reminded us of the birds we are hoping will return as well, to nest on the recently strimmed grass of the islands in the brackish lagoons of the Ness.
Earth Recordings have reissued Bert Jansch’s 1979 album Avocet. This includes evocative renderings of other birds too, including kingfisher, bittern, osprey, kittiwake and lapwing.
The latter are roosting on the shingle near the lighthouse and marshes at the moment along with golden plover, and we hope to see the other species later in the year as well.
Danny Thompson who lived in Clopton for a few years in the late 1970’s and early 80’s is playing bass on the recording.
We were also intrigued to see a reference to Orford Ness on Caught by the River in the post about the re-release of The Weather Clock by July Skies: ‘July Skies is: Orford Ness, lost youth, Henry Moore, pylons across fields, abandoned airfields, Avebury, endless childhood summers, forgotten England, the romance of the heavens well after closing time, Super8, countryside, mornings in May, ruins, faded innocence, post-war Britain, skies of all seasons, trudging coastlines, Festival of Britain 1951, memories made with a Polaroid Landcam 103, overgrown follies, East Anglia, concrete precincts and tower blocks, suburbia, old Ordnance Survey maps, lost airmen, rustic charm, John Nash, poppy day, a half remembered smile, 1960s artwork by Harry Wingfield, John Berry, Martin Aitchinson, C F Tunnicliffe, Ronald Lampitt, BST, municipal parks at dusk, love, infatuation and loss.’
These have both reminded us just how much Orford Ness is a place that continually captures the imagination for so many people, both before and after they visit.
We regularly see the impact it has had through the amazing photos shared with us on social media, through paintings, drawings and visual artworks as well as through music and film.
Last year saw the National Trust celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Neptune fundraising project with a whole series of events, which included opportunities for people to share evocative sounds from the coastline all around the country.
Here at Orford, we also played host to a very special travelling beach hut, which enabled visitors to share some of their thoughts and memories about the coast on the recording equipment inside.
The recordings were used as part of a project called One and All, which saw three artists create different works around the theme of coast.
Former Heaven 17 frontman Martyn Ware created a soundscape called What Does the Sea Say and you can have a listen by clicking here.