Saturday, 14 June 2008

Seaside Scavenging

Toby Buckland's 'Ethical Garden' rightly won Best in Show at GW Live (listen to J A-S's interesting video blog) but the Sock has deep concerns as to just how 'ethical' it is.

Buckland's slot on GW explained how he used recycled materials to build his gardens, reusing old stone from dismantled walls and reclaiming discarded windows and materials for his shed. Fine... until we come to how he wanders the tide line of his local Devon beaches looking for driftwood and washed up artefacts for use in his garden.

Buckland enthused over a piece of azure blue fishing net he found caught up in the rocks and mused over how it reflected the colours of the sea. "This will look fantastic in my garden" he said whilst cutting it out of the seascape. Toby, some of us thought it looked rather beautiful where it was, for all those walking the beach to enjoy and share, not to be removed for your private pleasure!

Look at the photos above of the wood cargo thrown up on Worthing's sea-front earlier this year. The first scene, vibrant with the orange net, fades into insignificance when the colour is removed in the second.

Do we have the right to remove these objects from their natural resting place on the shore? Is it OK if one or two people do it but not if everyone gets the same idea. Don't forget that some years ago, councils had to stop traders from removing white-van loads of 'free' pebbles from beaches to sell on to gardeners after Alan Titchmarsh popularised the 'seaside garden' concept.

Buckland advised that people should contact the local council before indulging in these beachcombing activities - like that's ever going to happen!


emmat said...

Couldn't agree more. But Toby buckland winds me up a bit, was he cloned from a small piece of Tony Parsons?

Arabella Sock said...

I knew he reminded me of someone and originally thought Jean-luc Picard - but no such luck! My god! he is an identikit. I wish I didn't know that!

Anonymous said...

Good point Ms Sock. I removed a landrover load of pebbles from a beach many, many years ago (it was probably not strictly legal but it was before the days of environmental responsibility. With hindsight I feel slightly guilty).
I did not know the area very well and just drove onto it and started shovelling. It came as a bit of a shock when a very hairy, very old, very stringy, very naked and very dangly man came wandering past.

Fat Rascal said...

You should certainly advise your readers NEVER to pick up anything washed ashore from the sea of immeasurable gravy, Arabella!

I wonder if Mr Sinclair is describing an encounter with another famous poet of the Boards who disappeared in mysterious circumstances?

Arabella Sock said...

Ah yes Fat Rascal, the Sea of Immeasurable Gravy has indeed washed ashore many strange things and the WAVe monster was certainly one of them.

THe Sock is told that near to the Brighton Marina is a nudist beach where dangly bits are de rigeur. Of course the Sock has never been to check this out! Hmm... that is an idea, Old Ma Sock is staying and I'm sure a little stroll along the seafront there would cheer her up no end!

The Black Fingernail said...

What Big Bucks Toby Jugs actually meant by "wandering the tidemarks of his local Devon beaches" was....

....he was at Branscombe Bay last year with the rest of us "Pikey Gardeners" when the MSC Napoli got beached. From recollection I think he got 3 BMW motorcycles and 2 crates of Pampers.

Not sure either have appeared in any of his gardens. Though I have heard the term "pants" used whilst describing them. So maybe they were Pampers "training pants"???