Time to breathe
From the waters edge, teeming with different species such as grey seals and other mammals; to the clifftops providing important nesting areas for guillemots and gannets; the UK shoreline is a mass of complex ecosystems and habitats which all interact in perpetual motion as the shifting tides rise and fall.
As the seasons change different visitors populate the coast, many having travelled thousands of miles from far off shores. I find it’s a constant journey of discovery and as I begin to understand these complex behaviours, patterns and movements it’s difficult not to feel an awe inspiring sense of wonder.
It’s no coincidence a lot of my time is spent along the shoreline as you can become easily immersed in this magical theatre. We all have our favourite locations and places which pull us back time after time; and this is just a small selection of moments I’ve chosen that hold some personal resonance, taken a breath and thought WOW … that was just amazing.
"The shoreline stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul."
Out and about
One of my favourite shoreline locations has to be the north Norfolk coast; especially as autumn surrenders to winter and the summer crowds have long since gone. Wide open, deserted beaches beckon and are home to the most amazing wildlife as it moves with the seasons.
There are a number of highlights in my calendar at this time of year, not least of which are the seals and pups which congregate along Horsey Beach. Pupping season is a magical time to visit between October and February. Mothers or ‘cows’ nurse young pups and ‘bull’ seals charge each other to exert their dominance. Watching the drama unfold never fails to disappoint but caution is paramount, as understandably the seals are protective of their young.
Not to be outdone; at Snettisham you'll discover the ‘wader spectaculars’ that coincide with the very high tides throughout the year when thousands of birds are pushed off the mudflats by the fast incoming tide. Capturing this behaviour inevitably presents a challenge, but I find myself captivated by the ebb and flow of movement as this dark mass moves in perfect unison.
Just two of the many spectacles not be missed along this stunning stretch of shoreline.
"The Norfolk coast leaves an indelible beauty that remains imprinted on the mind."