High up on the Greensand ridge above the village of Lenham lies an ancient coppice wood. Through the Kentish ragstone substrate springs abundantly materialise bringing clean filtered water to the surface from deep below. One of these springs is the very source of a little know river, the Len. As she continues her journey westwards to join the Medway man’s long influence upon her can be seen and traced along almost the entire length, mills and ponds were constructed to harness water power in order drive furnaces and mill stones alike but now stand as relics of a bygone age as indeed is the magnificent moat surrounding the grand Leeds Castle, which sits imposingly, guarded by its depths against medieval foes.
The birth of a river and indeed its immediate infancy hold much fascination and it has been said before that the same running water can never be seen twice nor can the same man stand aside it or within its flow on more than one occasion.
Change is the essence of her survival, as she flows onward she will grow, joined by other small streams and meander toward her destination and thus her very being becomes more tangible within the landscape which she has helped to carve for millennia.
A forgotten river can provide much in the way of sanctuary for a host of flora and fauna, undisturbed they can flourish much in the way they had before man’s intervention. I hope this little gem survives future development and that she continues to thrive wrapped in her cloak of anonymity, almost forgotten but not unloved…
Writing & Images R.B.Traditional Winter, 2022
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