John Muir Award

Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge

The Early Snows of 2010 Are Melting

This morning we awoke early to find that despite a bitterly cold night the snows are on they way out. The final blow is the incoming rain that, as I write, is now falling on the office roof.


Whilst the snow and ice presented some excellent opportunities, such as field testing some kit, practicing bushcraft, survival and campcraft skills more suited to the boreal climate and tracking some of the local wild animals including foxes and badgers, I will not be sad to see the back of it

Our Land Rover Defender and Freelander 2 have sat in the yard since the second day of snow cover. Despite the awesome potential and ability of the vehicles, the all terrain tyres and some experience of driving off road we have had no need to drive anywhere and, to be honest, it has been such a pleasure to walk everywhere we needed to through the snowy landscape. We have been able to buy all of our supplies from the village store and our next door neighbour who has recently started a farm shop in the adjacent village of Pluckley and very kindly delivered some urgent supplies when she shut up shop one evening. Our Kenwood bread maker has seen more action this week than in the last several months as has the hob based coffee pot!

Being “snowed in”, although it was not really an issue for us with two Land Rovers, is always a good excuse to go through the cupboards and freezer. I'm not entirely convinced some of the concoctions we have eaten will ever get a Michelin Star but it kept the wolf from the door and allows us to resupply and restock.

I have just telephoned my parents who live in a village between Tonbridge and Sevenoaks to make sure they were coping with the cold as their central heating boiler decided to “give up the ghost” just before the snows arrived. It has been exceptionally chilly for them despite keeping the fire going in their inglenook at all times. They have also managed to walk into the local town to get topped up with supplies. Hopefully the thaw will give a little respite from the cold for them!

The glut of haws, bullace and sloes we have seen here in this area of Kent have provided essential nourishment for birds and small mammals. I am sure that, despite our best efforts, some of the local wildlife will be pleased to see the snow disappear so they can return to their normal feeding patterns.

I will also be glad to get back to normality and rebook the appointments that were cancelled due to the snow. Next week looks like there will be a lot of catching up to be done!

It would also be nice if the rain stopped long enough for the Egerton Glebe Fair to proceed without everyone getting soaked!

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