A wide, wide foreshore at Cogden Beach

Featureless Cogden Beach

With an hour or two to low water the foreshore at Cogden was as wide as I have ever seen it. This morning’s full moon has caused a pretty big tide for here and with the gentle seas of the last few days the tide has left a wide swathe of regularly shelving beach: all smoothed out, featureless and patted flat like sandcastle walls. There is even a zone at the top of the foreshore of hard-packed sand – yes, sand not gravel or grit – that allows swift walking or even, if you had a mind to, running. This meant I could stride out and get some much needed exercise. It also meant that I

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Diffuse light makes 'Broadchurch' cliffs seem more massive

It has been a while since I have been able to write here – I have not even been able to finish my last post or write about the other things I saw and experienced on my stay in Brighton or the artwork that is beginning to appear from the trip. I even have notes and images from a walk before I went away! Hopefully I will catch up with the salient bits in the next week or so.

I have been pretty busy with other things and I have set up a new Twitter account (@DavidSmithArt) specifically for tweeting about my work and the arts in general. That has quickly generated some interesting contacts, including an artist in Canada

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Hive Beach swept clean but a disaster for seabirds

Last Thursday I went for a walk along Hive beach and found there was hardly a tideline at all: the sea had been right up to the cliff base and taken all the debris and swept it down to Portland or buried it under a carpet of fine gravel. Even close to low tide the wind was propelling the occasional finger of foam right up the beach.

Really the only things I found were whelk egg clusters and numbers of pieces of drink cans ripped apart by the sea and shore . The tin can pieces dance east, driven by the wind at a pace I can’t keep up with walking. I have grown quite fond of these ragged bits

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Another landslip at Monmouth Beach, Lyme Regis

BBC picture of chalets at Monmouth beach

This morning I saw a BBC report about a new landslip on the Jurassic Coast, at Monmouth Beach just west of Lyme Regis. The approach road has collapsed and it is believed some chalets have been damaged. Police are advising owners not to try to access their properties as they fear the recent heavy rains will make further landslides likely. The road has been closed “indefinitely”.

Another major rock fall at Burton Bradstock

There has been a major rockfall today at Burton Bradstock on the same section of cliffs where Charlotte Blackman was crushed and killed in July last year. It is believed that no one was on the beach and thus no injuries resulted. The beach and coast path have been closed by the National Trust since the fall last summer and this latest landslide underlines the message that people are putting their lives at risk if they venture too close to the cliffs and other unstable areas along the coast around here.

Massive rock fall at Burton Bradstock. Image courtesy Stephen Banks

This image has been provided by local photographer Stephen Banks. You can see more of his work with

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Dorset coastal resorts as busy as summer

We went for a walk on Hive beach in today’s wonderful sunshine. We had been aiming to just pop down to West Bay, but it was like a summer holiday day – if not busier! I suppose the first sunny day after weeks of dreary grey and pouring rain was bound to get people out, plus of course the New Year holiday. So since we couldn’t find a reasonable place to park we decided to drive along the coast to Hive Beach at Burton Bradstock. We knew that would be busy too, but reckoned the overflow car parking would be less underwater than West Bay.

Run from the waves

It was really good to get out in the sun,

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Nice piece about Cogden Beach

I came across this nicely written article on the “this is Cornwall” website. I have not spoken about the many collections of beach litter that have been gathered together in structures and patterns at the top of Cogden Beach, but perhaps I shall soon. Click here to take a look.

The horizon seemed so close at Cogden Beach

On Friday we walked on Cogden Beach in the wind. It was some time before I was able to see, my eyes were streaming so much to start with. Then at the end of the walk I could hardly see clearly because of the salt spray on my specs!

Cogden Beach is a wild, wide empty space yet it felt closed in and the horizon seemed so close. I cannot begin to explain why it seems this way. The sea has made a wider space between the low and high tide lines (and it was about low tide when we got there) and has thrown up a higher than normal bank perhaps, but that would only make the horizon seem

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Whipped for Christmas Day at West Bay

I wish I had taken my camera and camcorder when we went for our Christmas Day seaside constitutional yesterday. The sun was glorious; the wind whipped up the sea a bit; the sky full of colour and form; and there was enough nip in the air to keep the blood pulsing and the nerve endings quivering. But art and photography were not really on the menu. I hope I can get down there again on a sunny day soon before the sculpting of the beach has changed too much.

Christmas Day at West Bay

Caught the last of the sun at West Bay

I grabbed the last hour and a half of sunshine and went down to West Bay this evening. Long winter shadows, warm red glow. I went to West Beach because I wanted to make some more notes of the shapes in the rocks that protect the west pier of the harbour. That side of West Bay doesn’t get the sweeping views: you are forced to look at the more local, it’s more intimate, less beautiful but more human, friendlier. I love the way there is always someone in the shelter and Margaret opens the kiosk for some warming drinks. Today there was a line of laughing, smiling, chatting folk in catching late afternoon sun.

With the sun so low there

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