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The Little Church at Ebony

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THE ENCHANTED MARSH.

Romney Marsh is a place set apart with a strange and haunting character of its own, from its lonely, ancient churches and deserted twisting lanes to its sea-mists and flocks of Romney Marsh sheep - often the only inhabitants to be seen for miles.

I have lived on the Isle of Oxney (four miles north-east of the Marsh) for over twenty years now, and my collection of paintings and poetry have been inspired by the beauty of the Marsh and the surrounding countryside.

Water seems to surface regularly in my paintings and poetry and is an important feature of this area. There is no escape from either its threat or its beauty. Water courses criss-cross the Marsh and the Levels surrounding the Isle of Oxney. Meanwhile, the River Rother has caused chaos in this area over the centuries, by frequent flooding and even by altering its course in 1287.

My poetry reflects my concern about our diminishing countryside -its wildlife and plants, many of which are part of our English identity and literature ( the water-vole or the bluebell). Even here on the Marsh, untouched by time as this area appears to be, the threat of development and urbanisation of the countryside still needs to be recognised and addressed before it's too late.

Helen Lyon.