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 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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Blue tubes at Cogden

I went out yesterday with the specific purpose of collecting some fine coloured fishing line from the beach for some artwork I am currently doing. I hoped I might also find a fish-shaped lure to incorporate in another picture. As it happened I found lots of line and now have to think about my attitude to rubbish on the beach.

I had originally decided to walk along Hive Beach towards Cogden Beach and perhaps catch a cup of coffee at the café on the way back. I had forgotten it was half term and it is the duty of every family with grandparents who have retired to beautiful Dorset to visit at Autumn half term and it is the duty

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Glorious weather at Hive Beach - sun, wind and a shower-filled sky

Hive Beach, approaching Cogden Beach

What a brilliant day! On days like today I celebrate the fact that we have weather. The wind so raw, whipping the sea to a frenzy. So loud my ears ache. High contrast: interesting light when clouds shade the beach yet there is still bright, diverted light, the strong reflection off the sea and foam.

It’s messy on the beach: debris scattered not in lines. It’s another battered-feather day. The seabirds must be moulting. Peregine hovering, working hard but efficiently to stay absolutely static in the wind. Somehow it is more sinewy than a kestrel. It never flaps its wings in all the time I watch it, just writhes to keep its wind speed

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Storyweir at Hive Beach

It sounded an exciting concept, but as so often in my experience with art video, the end result didn’t live up to the hype. A small audience of hardy souls shunned the Olympics on TV and gathered in the field next to the car park at Hive Beach to watch the Storyweir production by Proboscis, part of the ExLab programme. Having only read a little about the project I had no real idea what to expect, but was open to being inspired by people inspired by one of the sections of coast I love.

Storyweir presentation at Hive Beach

We arrived at sundown with the sky lowering and a strong breeze off the sea. We were a little late,

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Exlab special events at Hive Beach

This weekend as part of the Storyweir project there will be some free special events at Hive beach:

Friday 3 & Saturday 4 August at sundown there will be an outdoor audio and video event featuring a specially created live musical score by local cellist Matthew Benjamin. On Saturday 4 & Sunday 5 August, at 3pm there is Tea & Talk with the Artists

Cliff fall horror on Jurassic coast

Yesterday I was saddened to hear that a landslip near Burton Bradstock, on my home stretch of coast, caused the death of a young woman. The cliffs are always subject to erosion and the heavy rains recently would have added to the stresses in the rocks. A similar fall happened a couple of months back: not so massive but leaving a similar shape. On that occasion no one was hurt and I often marvel that there are so few injuries along this very unstable coast. The beach and stretches of the coast path are closed while geological inspections are carried out to assess the safety risks. More information

There has been a series of large landslides recently: there

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What causes this?

What caused this collection?

What is it that motivated me to pick up a collection like this on my last beach walk? A vaguely familiar looking bit of green plastic, a yellow bead, a couple of shells of little cockles, a fish skull (species unknown), an arc of nacreous shell and a blob of aluminium. What is my unconscious trying to tell me?

Another dogfish day

A week or two ago a fisherman said he had only caught a dogfish. He said it in a way that left me in no doubt that he had had quite a few “dogfish days” recently. He bore his disappointment stoically but I could tell that a dogfish was little better than no fish at all. Since then phrase “another dogfish day” has been rolling round my head as away to describe determination to continue in the face of disappointment, but today was a “dogfish day” and I wasn’t disappointed. I found a couple of dogfish washed up on the beach and although there is always a little pang of sadness at the death of any creature it is also

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