Jimper’s Jottings October 2005

Where is the Rain?

Where is the Rain? The grass of Romney marsh has not greened up like a lot of the sheep farmers had hoped this year, all the showers of rain seem to have missed this little part of England, the land is crying out for a good drink. From Hythe to Winchelsea the fields of grass look like hay stubble; the old sheep will have to survive on hand outs of fodder. Who knows maybe the next two months will be wet and warm but I would not hold my breath the way things look. The rainfall this summer has been such that not a drop from inland has run off into the River Brede.

The lock gates have remained closed tight and the early Mullet that had ventured into the fresh water have remained trapped, they have been observed shoaling as far up river as Doleham, reports of people catching sea Bass at Winchelsea, so far in-land tells it’s own story, not enough fresh water to move the invading salt back that seeps through the gates. All ready this year I have started to place a little seed out for the birds and am amazed at all the Sparrows there is nothing so English as a Robin redbreast and a good flock of spadgers.


The new earth wall between Rye Harbour and Winchelsea, being built as a second line of defence against the expected higher tides in the near future, is well under way.  A massive embankment of dirt that when grassed over will blend into the landscape nicely. Sitting at my bedroom window the other day and looking towards the sea, I had a hard job to see the difference it had made and tried to visualize the impact it would have if the water flooded between it and the shore.

Some one told me that there are plans afoot already to build a similar secondary inland defence from Camber to Hythe. Does this mean they have little confidence in the original defense wall? Should it be breached will the sea encroach at will across the lower land? Now that would be interesting, letting the sea have its wicked way with that area would cause all sorts of trouble and not only from the power station bods who were told by the locals it was the wrong place to build it anyway! The action groups that would spring up from such a proposal would be many and who would be on what committee voting for this or that, a conflict of interest, a clash here, a yes here; oh! what fun.

The wind farm would become an off shore investment, the airport adventure would sink out of sight never to be heard of again, the farmers would be in uproar and our little part of England would slip back in time to the history books like I and my mates had at school when the only thing in our little lives was what the Romans did for us. It makes one wonder did our old teachers know something that they told us nothing of, that in our lifetime the Marsh would once again resemble the marsh the Romans knew.

I do not think that the Editor or I will live long enough to witness the scene but I am confident that the Ryes Own will report the event in text and pictures when the time does come.