Illustration by Jonathan Newdick fromÂ Caught by The River
In our industrial societies, Â nature comes to represent the escape from the business of our lives. Caught by the River (â€œthe antidote to indifferenceâ€) has been around a while; itâ€™s an interesting collective of people who have come together to reflect on the luxury of taking time out in by a riverbank.
Itâ€™s a website less inspired by environmentalism than a kind of gentle refusenik-ism â€“ something more to do with Tom Hogkinsonâ€™s and Gavin Praetor-Pinneyâ€™sÂ The Idler than anything more strident â€“ but itâ€™s growing into a great online repository for new ways of looking at the British countryside.
Co-founded music entrepreneur Jeff Barrett and including a contributor list of artists, writers, photographers and songsmiths it claims the lateÂ Roger Deakin as its patron saint. Deakinâ€™s brilliant Waterlog: A Swimmerâ€™s Journey Through Britain is becoming a handbook for a kind of half-mystical, half-historic neo-Romantic approach to the world.
The site is full of gems. Last week they featured a timely reappraisal of theÂ work of Richard Brautigan; today they start to feature a series of pieces of music influenced by birds. They begin with a song from British Sea Power called â€œThe Great Skua (Plover demoâ€) which you can listen toÂ here.
Last year they published an anthology: Â Caught by the River: A Collection of Words on Water.
Go to RSA Arts & Ecology