As a young lad I used to sit on the seawall that ran behind my home and gazed out upon the River Medway and observe (learn) about the natural history of the place whilst my my imagination would place me in times and events long past. Watching the ebb and flow of the tides, the comings and goings of mammals, birds, seals and the occasional dolphin and seeing the weather patterns roll across the landscape all taught me to love and appreciate the ever changing seasons and understand the delicate balance and flow of the environment. My environment.
At other times, especially when the mist rolled in with the tide, I was taken back to the times of Anglo-Saxon ships carrying materials to build Rochester Cathedral (first version), to when the Romans built nearby Watling Street and a fort to defend the bridge at Rochester, marauding Vikings, Duke William of Normandy and his troops making their way to London via Rochester (where they went on to rebuild the Cathedral and Castle), the Battle of ‘Medway’ or ‘Tocht Naar Chatham’ in Dutch. These are just a few
of the times and events that my local environment had passed through and I continue to experience. My intention is to write more in depth posts on as many of them as I can, but for now those I have mentioned will I hope have given you a good understanding of what I experienced as a lad (and still do).
This is why I encourage everyone to discover ‘where they live’ to get out there, observe it, investigate it and above all else; Get your kids involved, get them to love where they live enough to preserve and protect it for the future. Even a bricks and tarmac housing estate has history, it just needs a little more digging to discover it but it’ll be worth it to sense and appreciate it that much more.