While hiking up the white cliffs at St Margaret's at Cliffe I came across this beautiful white house and wonderful wildflowers.
There seemed to be something particularly awesome about the scene. I felt amazing as though the air had a magical spell over me and I could breath in this beauty. Naturally I wanted to paint the scene and the feeling.
After I started the painting I was explaining to friends that I had seen this incredible meadow of wildflowers that felt really different. A couple of days later my friends sent me an article in The Guardian about the regeneration project on the White Cliffs of Dover, which includes this meadow.
The Kingsdown Leas is a site of specific scientific interest and lies within the Kent Down area of outstanding beauty. Small tress and shrubs have been cleared to allow the rarer plants and wildlife species to flourish.
As the painting is still in progress I went back this weekend to take a closer look at the individual plants to add to the painting this week.
"A well known piece of the British landscape that had become depleted of flora and fauna because of years of intensive farming is alive with wildflowers, butterflies and birds this summer.
Since the National Trust acquired fields on top of the white cliffs of Dover two and half years ago after a £1m national appeal championed by Dame Vera Lynn, it has worked to restore the area to rich grassland.
The charity is excited at the results, reporting an increase in birds including skylarks, corn buntings, partridges and meadow pipits. Peregrine falcons are benefiting from an increase in wild pigeons, a main source of prey.
A “bumblebird” seed mix, which includes cereals, brassicas and wildflowers, was sown last autumn to provide birds with a supply of food through the winter, and a range of nectar-rich plants for pollinators in the summer. The wet winter that followed helped create an explosion of colour.
Virginia Portman, the general manager at the white cliffs for the trust, said: “After many decades of intensive farming, it’s fantastic to see this stretch of the cliffs buzzing with wildlife again. “The cliffs hold an incredibly special place in our country’s history, but they’re also important for nature as much of the habitat we have here, chalk grassland, is increasingly rare in the UK." The Guardian, 4 July 2020