As a start to a new year, I thought it was a good time to blow away some cobwebs at a place close to my heart. Still within the New Forest District, the short beach of Barton on sea is where my husband and I spent a lot of time together in the early days of our relationship. 14 years on we has seen a lot of change with huge amount of erosion where many of the paths we used to walk no longer exist.
Despite this, it is a great place as always to see wildlife and enjoy the salty, rugged air on your face. With the shifting tides and crumbling cliffs there is always a different view, but one view that always remains is the view of the needles and the isle of wight in one direction and hengistbury head and Bournemouth in the other.
Gulls circle constantly on the scavenge and the opportunists amongst them pull out the small crabs from the low tide before cracking their shells for a fresh meal. Cormorants rest on groins, wings spread as if meditating to the seas and rock pippits scurry hurriedly amongst the boulders. As you look above, rabbits hop in and out of the cliff side foliage risking life and limb for a feed against the ever watching resident kestrel and foxes.
I came home, weather beaten and exfoliated by the winter sea winds but reawakened ready for a new year full of hope and expectation.