Norfolk planner brings out a book on landscapes
Norfolk landscape architect Rosamunde Codling has brought together material relating to projects on which she has worked, including at the University of East Anglia and in the Antarctic.
As a teenager Rosamunde went to a school with a strong Christian presence which made her think about her beliefs. “I came to the conclusion there was a Creator and was gradually faced with the challenge of following Jesus Christ,” she said. “Faith has been an integral part of my being for over 60 years but I cannot easily divide life into categories such as work or beliefs, family or pastimes – all aspects and events, thoughts and actions mingle together, and it is this interweaving that has given delight.”
The projects into her book range from a single field in East Anglia to a whole continent. Among many other projects, she worked on a water storage project in the Wash, and the Broad at the University of East Anglia. A childhood fascination with the Antarctic led to studies at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, culminating in two visits to the continent. Research work from those visits has been used in the development of internationally agreed conservation standards for the continent.
“Landscape belongs – is common – to us all,” she said. “Landscapes are for living in, and many of their components meet our material needs. But there is more – landscapes are part of our lives, places where values and emotions co-exist giving us a different form of sustenance not met by other means. Exploring links between landscape and history; the portrayal of landscape through art and poetry; landscapes that surprise, I ended with landscapes beyond our own planet.”
Relatively recently she read R. S. Thomas’s poem “Those Others”. It opens with the lines:
I have looked long on this land,
Trying to understand
My place in it.
“Words more eloquent than mine,” she comments, “and they describe my efforts over many years.”
Landscape: a common place by Rosamunde Codling is available through bookshops, or from Mascot Media (www.mascotmedia.co.uk) at £17.95. Softback, 160 pages, 65 colour and black & white illustrations. ISBN 9781739714437.
Eldred Willey, 09/03/2023