About Me

My photo
Bristol , United Kingdom
I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

A Wander on Chittening Warth

As I'm still juggling pain relief to ease my joints, and the Northerner twisted his knee on the stairs, we decided against scrambling over sand dunes at Berrow and settled for a wander along the top of the flood defences at Severn Beach instead. 

It was misty when we arrived.

Since there were small children  with bikes, trikes and toy pushchairs aplenty, and since we had a slightly enervated holiday collie with us, we headed for Chittening rather than the more frequented route to the old Severn bridge. 

In fact, I was a bit astonished to realise that I hadn't walked down that way before. 

The industrial estate there looked quite Dark and Satanic, though, so I suspected the Northerner would feel at home. 

'I am the Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water, ready to trap the unwary, the showoff, the fool - '

We were sensible, though, and stayed on the causeway ...

... but not for long, for who can resist a track (with teasels)?

It was high tide, so there weren't that many birds about. 

A few ducks and oyster-catchers ...

... crows ...

... herons, and somewhere way overhead, a raven.

Very early flowering butterbur

Warth is a local word for salt marsh or flat meadow covered by tidal water. It sounds Viking* to me ...

... and it did feel as if a boatload of bearded, helmeted raiders could disembark and come running out of the mist at any moment. 

I wondered if, much more recently, some other invaders might have been expected.

I haven't found out anything about World War II defences in here, but there is mention of a decoy to lure German bombers away from oil installations at Avonmouth, so maybe these constructions are to do with that.

Once last glance towards Avonmouth and a very mistily distant North Somerset coastline, and it was time to retrace our steps. 

Now that the tide was receding, we walked some of the way along the warth itself.

As the sun burnt through the mist, the vegetation turned all shades of green and gold and beautiful.

It's always good to go home with your eyes full of colour. 

* though my knowledgeable friend, James, says it's from an Old English word 'waroth' meaning 'shore', so probably isn't Norse in origin.

No comments:

Post a Comment