Living by the seasons

One Northumberland coastline, a visual artist (Melanie Ashby), a poet (Lisa Matthews) and a shared passion for writer Rachel Carson 

Small, still and silent mole, frozen in time and suspended between two worlds, waits in a pile of earth for the seasons to urge it back from where it came. How it ended up on the Tughall Links path that connects Beadnell to Low Newton remains a mystery. But this tiny creature, in its own inimitable way, speaks of the cyclical scope and reach of life and death that we experienced on the Northumberland coast during the course of 2015.

Biologist and writer Rachel Carson, who kickstarted the environmental movement in 1962 when her book Silent Spring underlined the dangers of indiscriminate use of pesticides, has been the inspiration for our “A Year in Beadnell” project.


Carson – our hero – knew that all living things are connected, and that the earth and its oceans are intimately linked in a never-ending cycle of living, dying and regeneration. Every sunrise and sunset, every day, month, week and year has its own patterns and chaos; the natural world is defined by countless “befores” and “afters”, which Carson showed so profoundly in her writings.

In our fast-paced world, it’s necessary to take some time out to really appreciate all we have lost and all that we have: so that’s what we – a poet and a visual artist – decided to do.


Read the full version in The Northern Correspondent #8