Berengrave Nature Reserve

5If Tolkien hadn’t imagined Middle Earth at Moseley Bog outside of Birmingham then he would have found his inspiration at Berengrave Nature Reserve near Rainham in Kent.  A chalk quarry where spider trees rise from a flooded floor, ice covers crystal clear lakes and tangles of debris hang from the branches as if we were in the Louisiana bayous.7

It is not a cosy place of well tended trails. It is a place of magic and myth and dark thoughts. Never sunlit, even in the heat of summer. A place of silence and uncomfortable feelings. A place to drown your sorrows or your body in, your last word escaping in a bubble beneath the ice.

It is the cut through on the way home which causes children to quicken their step. It is a Boggart hole. May its secrets persist. We need the darkness on the edge of town. We need the wildness more every day. 3


4 thoughts on “Berengrave Nature Reserve

  1. Hi, I came across this post whilst trying to find information on the nature reserve, I go there quite frequently to walk my dog and also get a bad vibe from it.

    • Hi Charlotte,
      It’s funny isn’t it. Maybe it’s just because it’s so enclosed and quiet and that unnerves you as a women but maybe it is something else. I went to a folklore day up London and they had a talk on Boggart holes which people traditionally feared and I thought immediately of the feeling I get at Berengrave. Still, with so many places around us going for housing, I’m pleased it’s protected.

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