Category Archives: sea-bed & undersea

Allonby Bay MCZ: a ‘slimy dangerous place?’

Allonby Bay, on Cumbria’s Solway coast, recently became a Marine Conservation Zone; there are now 50 MCZs in English and ‘non-devolved’ waters and proposals for more are under consideration. Most people, probably, neither know nor would they care. Here are … Continue reading

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Snippets 9: ‘Seeing’ the Solway’s bottom

“Between Solway Buoy and Corner Buoy, it’s a critical region, the region that gives us the most trouble. At Corner Buoy there’s a narrow corridor – that channel is our window [to Silloth], to the East of it are big … Continue reading

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Piloting a ship up the Firth to Silloth

You have probably never thought what  it would be like to pilot a ship: to be in charge of, say, a cargo vessel with a hold-full of sticky molasses, that is about to enter the narrow dock gates of a … Continue reading

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Freshwater mussels in the West Cumbrian coalfield

The late Norman Hammond once told me that he used to go out in his boat to count the basking sharks when they came into the Solway. One time, he was motoring off Fleswick Bay near Whitehaven during a coal-miners’ … Continue reading

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Some things I didn’t know about sand-ripples and the sea

‘ … the tide holds back from the flat wet sands / That darken from tawny to brown, where little pools / Are stranded like starfish in the rippling ribs’.  Norman Nicholson, The Bow in the Cloud (I am grateful … Continue reading

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The design of the Solway: an aerial perspective, part 2

September 2nd, 0845h: Andrew Lysser, pilot, aerial photographer, instructor, and owner of Cumbria Gyroplanes, and I lifted off from the runway at Carlisle airport in a silver-coloured gyroplane. This time I wasn’t nervous, and there was no wall of rain … Continue reading

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The design of the Solway: Hems, reestings, holes and shoals

The turning tide takes time to fill the Solway. Today (August 12th) the first low tide at Maryport was at 0544h, height 1.5m; after turning, the flood tide was at its highest at Maryport at 1102h, height 7.5m. Heading North … Continue reading

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Coal reserves: the ‘profound contradiction’

Today in the Guardian, editor Alan Rusbridger explains why his paper will concentrate on climate change for the next few weeks: he regrets “that we had not done justice to this huge, overshadowing, overwhelming issue of how climate change will … Continue reading

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Seeing the sea-bed

‘The ground’s too rough – the shrimp-boats avoid it like the plague, it does too much damage to their nets’, says David Dobson, now retired from the NW-Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority at Whitehaven, talking about the sea-bed in Allonby … Continue reading

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