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Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The obsession with man-made things

 Areal shot of Newgale, dated 4th January, showing the beach and storm beach ridge in the foreground, the road covered with pebbles, the surf shop and Duke of Edinburgh Inn, and the flooded valley behind.

I'm not really in a bad mood today -- but here's another thing that has upset my equilibrium.  As the jolly readers of this blog will know, one of my hobby-horses is that people look at natural things and keep on thinking of them as the masterly works of man.  Sometimes it's almost as if they wander around in the natural world without being aware of its extstence -- let alone being aware of the processes that operate within it.......

Seldom have I seen such crap reporting. On the BBC News yesterday, an intrepid young reporter who was at  Newgale with his film crew burbled on about the "flood defence system" adjacent to the road, using the term over and again.

 If he was simply to use his eyes and look at it, he would realise that the pebble beach in Newgale is an entirely natural storm ridge formed over thousands of years from glacial erratics and bits and pieces of bedrock from the adjacent coasts. It will occasionally be overtopped by storm waves, and it wants to move inland. It has moved inland several hundred metres in recent centuries -- the original Duke of Edinburgh inn was where the sand beach is today.   In fact, tradition has it that there have been at least three inns here, each one built further inland to replace its predecessor destroyed by the encroachment of the sea.   The road is of course in the wrong place -- it should be further inland, on an embankment, out of harm's way!

As for that youthful and ill-informed reporter, did he never do geography at GCSE level?

1 comment:

TonyH said...

Perhaps the clue to what occurs throughout history here is contained in its Placename: Newgale?