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The Breamish Valley

A picturesque landscape of high hills, open moorland, gently rolling farmland and the scenic River Breamish!


Breamish Valley Roll of Honour

Sandpiper in the Valley

Common sandpiper in Breamish Valley

I last posted some images of Common Sandpiper on the River Breamish back in June 2015. Not that I haven’t seen them since, only that I haven’t taken the time to photograph them. Anyway, out on my once-a-day exercise a couple of days ago, I saw a few sandpiper along the banks of the River Breamish, along the valley towards Ingram. I’m not really a wildlife photographer, as I don’t have the proper equipment to do it. However, I did manage to get these shots of this fairly small wading bird that can be seen here in Northumberland during the summer months. It typically arrives around March-April each year and then, after breeding, it leaves around July-August.

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Nature Connectedness and Meaning in Life Research

Invitation to participate in nature connectedness and meaning in life research

We have received [4 May 2020] the following email communication from Michael Wilson at University of Derby.


I am in my final year of doing an MSc in Psychology at the University of Derby, and as part of my degree I am conducting a study into “Nature Connectedness and Meaning in Life in the Northumberland National Park”. While the benefits of being in nature are well known, not a lot of research has been conducted into how being in nature may be linked to ideas about meaning in life. Also, it is possible that different nature settings (e.g., urban parks, allotments, forest school) have a different impact on people using these spaces. Therefore, I am writing to invite you to participate in this research. The project is supervised by Dr Ryan Lumber (; 01332 597756).

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Everything Looks in Black and White

Worse in black and white?

I fell in love with the music of Paul Simon (formerly one half of the folk-rock duo ‘Simon and Garfunkel’) in 1974, when my sister gave me one of his albums: Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin’. I then went out and bought the third of his studio albums: the 1973-released, There Goes Rhymin’ Simon. On this album there is a song entitled ‘Kodachrome’. This is named after Kodak’s 35mm format camera film. A main characteristic of this film was that it gave an unnatural colour saturation to the images; so, a photo taken on a dull, overcast day, would look as if it had been taken on a sunny day. Hence the following lines from the chorus:

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Seeing Again

Seeing again what we saw only yesterday

Still having that Groundhog Day feeling, still feel like I’m rather going round and round the mulberry bush – but at least with a new perspective.

Just taking one step to the left or standing on my tip-toes, just a slight inclination of my head to the right, or even lying down on the grass – they all give a slightly different perspective. Just letting me see the same thing just that bit differently. And, all-in-all, it’s not too onerous moving a bit this way and a bit that way – although getting up off the grass when I’m down there isn’t quite so easy!

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Here We Go Round The…

Here we go round the mulberry bush

Children have such an appetite for repetition, don’t they? And so much energy for it. How many times have you heard a child gleefully shout, “Again! Again!”, demanding that we repeat the same silly ‘Knock, knock’ joke or play the same tune? As for me, I know that I’m likely to want to stop playing far sooner than any child. This repetition is instilled in children’s learning. What about all those nursery rhymes that repeat the same tune over and over but with just some minimal change.

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