Reflections on Restharrow Scrape

During June 2019 there was a brilliant display of people’s reflections on the Scrape.

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There were contributions from a range of people as you can see below.

Some penned their reflections:

RESTHARROW SCRAPE
Restharrow : a shrubby pink-flowered plant with a tough woody root, arresting the prongs of the harrow.
Rest : ceasing from bodily or mental exertion or activity
Harrow : a large rake or frame with teeth to stir the soil.
To harrow : to draw the harrow over, to lacerate, to cause anguish or torment
Such a small pretty unassuming flower, hidden, delicately curled, lying snug to the ground but causing enough grief to farmers long long ago that it got such a name. Nature, it seems, won that particular battle. At SBBOT we help in this battle for nature to hold its rightful place against human activity and works to give this land and scrape back to nature, allowing birds and wildlife space to live and breathe alongside us. The new expanded scrape will increase the potential for plants, insects and amphibians to repossess this small corner of Kent.
We benefit enormously. Watching wildlife brings rest and recreation to a frazzled humanity. Use this scrape to rest from your cares, use it to put behind you the harrowing tales on TV or media, use it to step outside the daily grind , breathe slowly and take time to notice the small things, the detail of a small inconspicuous plant, the ripples, the tilted reflection of a reed in the water. Just sit. Turn off the phone, cut the connections to the outside world. Just sit. Wait for the natural world to creep back into your consciousness. Notice the colour, feel the wind, rejoice in the wide sky and open space. Take time for yourself and rest. This is RestHarrow. It’s theirs, it’s ours, it’s yours.
Sarah Lane

People reminded us of the development of the Scrape so far:

From the original excavations:

Original excavations

to the opening of the extension of the original hide:

Graham opening "his" hide 22 April 2012

Graham opening “his” hide 22 April 2012

Opening of Graham's hide 22 April 2012

Opening of Graham’s hide 22 April 2012

 to the interior of the hide as it was until recently:

interior of hide

There were many pictures of how things change at the Scrape over time:

Water level photographs by Duncan McLean

  • Water in the Scrape was very high 10th February 2014 the top of the black and white pole just visible below the surface.

    Water in the Scrape was very high 10th February 2014 the top of the black and white pole just visible below the surface.

  • Water int he Scrape was very high again on 16th Febuary 2014. No islands showing and flooding into the field.

    Water in the Scrape was very high again on 16th Febuary 2014. No islands showing and flooding into the field.

  • Water in the Scrape was again very high 17th Marchh 2014 but had started to slowly recede.

    Water in the Scrape was again very high 17th March 2014 but had started to slowly recede.

  • Water in the Scrape was very low on 29th September 2011. Needs a good downpour to put water back in.

    Water in the Scrape was very low on 29th September 2011. Needs a good downpour to put water back in.

  • Water in the Scrape was very low on 11th December 2017. There is no stream flowing into or out of Restharrow Scrape. It purely relies on rainfall, and evvaporation takes its toll.

    Water in the Scrape was very low on 11th December 2017. There is no stream flowing into or out of Restharrow Scrape. It purely relies on rainfall, and evvaporation takes its toll.

December 2010 by Ian Hodgson

December 2010 by Ian Hodgson

 

Winter sunset 2014 by Robert Stevenson

Winter sunset 2014 by Robert Stevenson

 

New Years Eve 2014 by Robert Stevenson

New Years Eve 2014 by Robert Stevenson

 

photo taken 11th August 2017 by Heather Willis

August 2017 by Heather Willis

 

More reflection in words:

Reflection on Restharrow

Shot silk-rippled
Water ruffles,
Red throated arrows soar and swoop.

Peewit plummets,
Tumbles, tosses
Tells his name to the arching blue.

Sways the reed bed,
Silken tasseled
Whispering secrets seldom seen

Rest, reflect,
Be still and ponder,
Still the heart and soothe the soul.

Mary

 

Mencap groups regularly visit the scrape and have produced some very good photographs:

  • Janice Teal

    Teal by Janice

  • Shoveler photographed by Kevin

 

 There is an element of luck in what you may see when you pop into the hide:

click here for an account by Nigel Hefford: being in the right place at the right time

Sue Bennett serendipity

White Fronted Goose 3

 

Our WEX children’s group also learn and get inspiration from the Scrape:

  • Matilda Stark’s artistic response to watching the birds on the Scrape

    Matilda Stark’s artistic response to watching the birds on the Scrape

  • WEX 6
  • WEX 7
  • Male Black-tailed Skimmer

    Male Black-tailed Skimmer enjoying his lunch on Restharrow Scrape

  • WEX 10

They were inspired by the Dragonflies:

A short Break

Finished Dragonflies

 

and learnt about insects

WEX 4

 

and wildfowl:

WEX 5

Another reflection in words:

A year on the Scrape

Restharrow Scrape is part of our recording area and the birds seen there are recorded by our members and visitors:

Click here to see A leaflet describing a walk to Restharrow Scrape – available from the shop

and A sample of extracts from our recording sheet for Restharrow Scrape for 2019 so far…

We asked people to add their observations of birds to a sheet during the display. This is the list they came up with (in no particular order):

Lapwing, Avocet, Teal, Little Grebe, Garganey, Little Egret, Snipe, Moorhen, Coot, Linnet, Egyptian Goose, Swallow, House Martin, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Jackdaw, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Greenshank, Common Sandpiper, Jay, Turtle Dove, Sandmartin, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Crow, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Greylag, Mute Swan, Mallard, Kestrel, Great White Egret, Sparrowhawk, Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove, Peregrine, Short-eared Owl, White-fronted Goose, Canada Goose, Pochard, Wigeon, Grey Heron, Jack Snipe, Goldfinch, Grey Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Cuckoo, Swift, Wood Sandpiper, Spoonbill, Little Stint……….

This is a pretty good list but by no means a full list of all the species of bird that can be seen on the scrape.

People also recorded bird behaviour:

  • I think I’ll turn round

  • Oooops!

  • Nesting Oystercatchers by Sue Smith

  • Goosander aggression December 2014 by Robert Stevenson

  • Little Grebe with chick

  • Little Grebe by Robert Stevenson

  • Young Moorhen with Emperor Dragonfly

 

We had original art work from all ages:

Ruby's pictureand three pieces by very long term member of the Observatory, John Hollyer:

JNH Artwork 3JNH Artwork 2JNH artwork 1

This view also featured in a photograph by Sue Smith:

JNH 1 Sue Smith same view

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