To know a place for the first time is to read into its landscape the story of its past.
To appreciate in writing the lives of its rivers and brooks, copses and woods, the stone cursus and chalked dykes. We need to thumb through the pages of its hollied ways and walled paths, its Downs and shingled beaches whilst at all times, observing the comings and goings of the communities that embroider this landscape into a seamless tapestry.
Having lived in Cumbria nearly all my life, I know its landscape intimately and not just in a navigational sense. Amidst a place we truly know, we walk with a calmness and surefootedness absent in unfamiliar places. We know which way the afternoon wind will come from, the sound of the Beech trees as the morning breeze rattles its keys, the mountain stream that descends gulps of rocky pools with a rhythmic rush as familiar as a pulse.