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Monday, 9th September 2002, Northumberland

rock pavementA short stretch of limestone pavement has developed on a boat-shaped outcrop of rock near the harbour at Seahouses, Northumberland. The paving stone blocks are a similar size to the grykes (as these slabs are called) that develop on the limestone pavements of the Yorkshire Dales.

herring gullHerring gulls stand on the rocks, while this one perches on a telegraph pole with a veiw of the harbour.

We are waiting for the tide to come in so that we can take a boat to the Farne Islands but the rain sets in and we decide to leave our visit for another day. A belt of rain 200 miles wide covers the whole of northern England for most of the day. At times driving home along the A19 it seems more like being at sea.

In Shoreline, a gift shop near the harbour, I comment on an old photograph in the window of 'fish-wives' with their baskets, fisherman and white-bearded old salts. It's caused some interest in the town as people have recognised their relatives in it.

'When I came here in 1955,' the woman at the counter tells us, 'Seahouses was the fifth fishing port in the country for tonnage - and think what a small place it is compared to Lowestoft and Hull. You could have walked across the harbour on the boats, now there's only one fishing boat page

Richard Bell

Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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