Friday, April 24, 2015

Norfolk reeds at Cley next the Sea

click photo to enlarge
Recently, as I've been travelling about, I've chanced upon several thatched buildings undergoing renewal of their roofs. English thatched buildings are generally roofed with either long straw, Norfolk reed or imported reed, combed wheat reed or sedge grass. The material of choice usually depends on local vernacular tradition, the availability of the desired thatching, and the depth of the pockets of the building's owner. In East Anglia, due to the presence of suitable watery areas, the water reed was widely used; elsewhere tall-stemmed varieties of wheat were more favoured. However, the amount of reed available in East Anglia is such that foreign reed, often from the banks of the Danube, has been imported for some years.

On my recent visit to North Norfolk, when passing through Cley next the Sea, I noticed that the reeds of the coastal marsh around the village had been cut for thatching. It was stacked on the flood bank in several piles, under tarpaulins, awaiting selection and use. This activity had denuded the thick reed beds and large, irregular areas were very flat where the reed-cutters tools had been at work. You can see something of this in today's photograph.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Nikon D5300
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 20mm (30mm - 27mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/400 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On