Our Land­Scape

The best of the sea­son to in­spire and ad­mire

Landscape (UK) - - Reader's Letters - Golden Canopy silk scarf £125, www.nick­o­labeck.co.uk

when deer dance

Once a year, for nearly 800 years, 12 char­ac­ters, com­pris­ing six Deer Men, the Hobby Horse, the Fool, Maid Marian, the Archer and the two Mu­si­cians, have been danc­ing through the Stafford­shire town of Ab­bots Brom­ley and the sur­round­ing area. Known as the Horn Dance, it is be­lieved to have first been per­formed at the Barthelmy Fair in Au­gust 1226. As with many tra­di­tions, its ori­gins are long for­got­ten, and it may be con­sid­er­ably older. To­day, the Horn Dance is held on the first Mon­day after the first Sun­day after 4 Sep­tem­ber. In 2017, the date is 11 Sep­tem­ber. The day starts with the dancers col­lect­ing the heavy rein­deer horns from the lo­cal church, be­fore set­ting off to per­form their dances in 12 places in and around the town. They cover ap­prox­i­mately 10 miles be­fore re­turn­ing the horns to the church.

town’s golden year

Fifty years ago, the beau­ti­ful Lin­colnshire town of Stam­ford was des­ig­nated as Bri­tain’s first urban con­ser­va­tion area. This was the first time an en­tire town was pro­tected. De­scribed by 19th cen­tury au­thor Sir Wal­ter Scott as “the finest sight on the road be­tween Ed­in­burgh and Lon­don”, it is home to 600 listed build­ings. Her­itage groups, ar­chi­tec­tural spe­cial­ists and com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions have joined forces un­der the ban­ner of Stam­ford50 to or­gan­ise new town trails, talks, events and a her­itage skills fair. The pro­gramme of events cul­mi­nates in the bi­en­nial Stam­ford Geor­gian Fes­ti­val being held from 21-24 Sep­tem­ber.

pas­sage for one

Many coun­try walks lead through kiss­ing gates. These are de­signed to al­low only one per­son at a time to pass through, while pre­vent­ing live­stock from es­cap­ing. A hinged gate swings be­tween the arms of an en­clo­sure which can be semi-cir­cu­lar, square or V-shaped. When the gate is parked at ei­ther side of the en­clo­sure, there is no gap to pass through. Push­ing it al­lows a walker ac­cess to the small en­clo­sure. The gate is then moved in the op­po­site direction to close the first open­ing, al­low­ing egress from the en­clo­sure to the other side. The name comes from the fact that the gate kisses, or touches, the en­clo­sure on ei­ther side, rather than need­ing to be se­curely latched. The gate is usu­ally self-clos­ing, to the side away from the land where an­i­mals are kept.

a blaze of silk

From her home on the Not­ting­hamshire-Der­byshire border, pho­tog­ra­pher Nick­ola Beck spe­cialises in cap­tur­ing the beauty of na­ture. Some of her im­ages are now recre­ated in her beau­ti­ful silk scarves. She cap­tured this spec­tac­u­lar blaze at Bram­cote Park in Not­ting­hamshire. It re­flects the warm­ing shades of gold and rus­set, punc­tu­ated by the bluey-white sky.

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