Okay, its not as wide as the Severn, as nostalgic as the Mersey or as historical as the Thames, but hey, its ours, and in its modest, understated way, rather charming.
Actually, in the reign of Alfred the Great the Rother was very important militarily. In 892 CE two hundred and fifty Viking warships sailed up the Rother and attacked the unfinished burh ( fort) at Eorpeburnan (possibly Castle Toll near Newenden). The Vikings then went on to occupy Appledore. Its hard to believe that these peaceful and picturesque towns in Sussex and Kent were once the frontier towns in a bloody war as the nation struggled for survival.
The Rother remained strategically important right up to the late Middle-Ages. Here then is the medieval ‘castle’ at Bodiam in the trees.
Right, back to the nature, first of all here is a lovely veteran oak tree growing in the Bodiam Castle car park.
As I walked along the river bank in the late afternoon there was not a lot of wildlife to see, but I did spot this mushroom with its bright chrome-yellow cap. I would guess that it is Bolbitius vitellinus
I was also pleased to see some cultivated farm land and it does look good to see these farms along the Rother valley.
However this brings me to a more serious topic. How will the world feed itself in the future? How will those of us passionate about conservation meet the challenge of an increasing world population demanding more food, and putting more pressure upon our natural resources?
And, of course, the price of food is directly linked to the cost of fossil fuels, both in growing, and transportation.
- Current world population: 6.8 billion (thousand million).
Projected world population in 2050; 9.5 billion.
Current world land area dedicated to agriculture: approximately equal to size of South America.
Area needed by 2050?
Well, the South America area plus an extra area about the size of Brazil.
(From Scientific American : The Rise of Vertical Farms; November 2009)
Again to paraphrase from this article, “[We] need to leave the [agricultural] land alone and allow it to heal our planet.”
In other words, we need a big rethink on how we grow food.
The Vertical Farm
To finish on a happy note, here is the river again, .Another landscape too.
(Also ref; Alfred the Great; Justin Pollard; Pub John Murray)