Wednesday, 13 December 2017


One of the main reasons we moved here was because of the close proximity to the sea. It means that most days, come rain or shine, you'll find me making my way, across the fields to the beach, a journey that can take as little as eight or nine minutes.

It's not your conventional beach, either. When the tide is in, there's just a shingle strand, with occasional glimpses of sand, but when the tide is out, it's magical. Not only is there acres of sand exposed, which Aggie loves to run on, but there are numerous rock pools and ... a sunken forest.

Stretching for 2 kilometers along the shore it's thought to be around 6000 years old. *However, some erroneously call it petrified but this would mean that the trees had turned to stone, which they haven't as you can poke your finger in the timber. Oak, birch and hazel have been identified and hazelnuts that have been found can be carbon-dated to 5,200BC. Small and large mammals roamed through the forest and evidence of burning suggests that there was some deliberate management of the woodland.

Most of the trees are flat but there is one group, not far off shore, that is quite distinctive, not just because it is visible in all but the highest tides but because it featured in a famous pop video. The much missed David Bowie's Ashes to Ashes video was filmed right here at Pett Level. Towards the end of the film, he's being berated by an old lady and as they walk along the beach the gnarled wooden fingers appear in shot.

1 comment:

  1. I had heard of (but forgotten about) the petrified forest and the David Bowie connection...all rather a long time ago so thanks for the reminder, Chris!
    I think we may have had a black and white telly when the video came out...kind of spoiled the effect as it also did with Dr. Who.