I dare say the farm fields were neither so large nor so orderly when Africa explorer, ‘Livingstone-I-presume’, Henry Morton Stanley looked out on this Shropshire landscape. For looked at it he would have when he came as a guest to The Abbey home of the Milnes-Gaskells of Much Wenlock. Stanley’s hosts were enthusiastic tour guides and brought all their visitors to Wenlock Edge to admire the view.
Those of you who come here often will know that Wenlock Edge is an 18-mile limestone ridge that runs across southern Shropshire. It is very much a local landmark, and its geology is of international scientific interest. The Edge as we know it now was formed by the uptilt of fossilized strata that were once the bed of the Silurian Sea.
Some 400 million years ago, this shallow tropical sea, that pre-dated even the advent of fish, and long before terrestrial life had evolved, once lay off East Africa near today’s Comoros Islands. You can find out more about it in an earlier post: Old Stones of Wenlock: Repurposing the Silurian Sea
On Sunday I posted an African landscape. Today is my ‘Out of Africa’ landscape, both of itself (because this chunk of Britain once lay in African waters), and on account of the photographer (that would be me) who has yet to get over leaving that continent.
But it goes to show how landscape intimately affects who we are, both physically and spiritually. It feeds our imagination, and shapes the lives we lead in a multitude of ways. Its resources may provide the basis for our livelihoods, and will have shaped communities and culture over countless generations before us. If we fail to value it, we will ultimately lose the best of ourselves, our true heritage. In Shropshire we owe great thanks to the National Trust and Shropshire Hills Area Of Outstanding Beauty, organizations that strive to creatively engage and reconnect people with the earth beneath their feet, and the natural beauty around them. More power to their purpose.
copyright 2016 Tish Farrell
Day 7 of my Nature Photo Challenge shots. Thanks once more to Anna at Una Vista di San Fermo who started me off on this jaunt.
And view 2 in the Daily Post weekly photo challenge: Landscape