Kate Ponting: Can you sum up a special place in a single image or caption?

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:02 14 October 2020

Clare James' image in 'The Heaths and Me' project - for more pictures, log on to https://bit.ly/THAMgallery

Clare James' image in 'The Heaths and Me' project - for more pictures, log on to https://bit.ly/THAMgallery

Clare James / Pebblebed Heaths

In her latest column, Katy Ponting writes about the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust’s ‘The Heaths and Me’

Kate Ponting, countryside learning officer at Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust. Picture: Matt AustinKate Ponting, countryside learning officer at Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust. Picture: Matt Austin

This summer, the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust received hundreds of entries to ‘The Heaths and Me’ project.

Many local people had a go at capturing what the heathland landscape means to them.

Photographs were shared by visitors to the heaths with a short explanation of what the image meant to them.

Take a look at some of the submissions in the online gallery https://bit.ly/THAMgallery. Check out the diversity and read the accompanying comments too, which give very personal insights into the value of this unique environment.

The subject of every picture varies but each one shows the place I know and have the pleasure to work.

I recognised the winter days when buff-coloured moor grass is icy stiff, the vibrancy of yellow gorse in spring and purple heather in the summer heat.

Wide-reaching views and the smaller details too; a species of butterfly, grazing cattle, dogs, Royal Marines and plenty of puddles!

Trying to describe why you love something in a few words or even a picture could never sum up every aspect. No single view can encompass the whole outlook.

However, it has been enormously enjoyable looking at a familiar landscape from many viewpoints.

Sharing our choices brings us closer to understanding the breadth of experience, associations, and values that others place on a space.

This can help us all to appreciate and look after places better.

Further projects will follow and continue to draw out the essential quality of this amazing area.

With a deeper understanding of what people value, the land managers will be better able to care for this unique place with those priorities in mind.

Other ways to get involved are to become a Friend of the Commons, which is free to be part of. You’ll receive regular updates about all aspects of the heaths and also have the opportunity to influence the direction of the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust and its management of the heathland for people.


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