Country Encounters Gallery

Photographs l have taken capturing moments, beautiful scenery and wildlife around the medieval town of Sandwich and surrounding nature areas in the County of Kent and added inspirational quotes and music accompanied with music.

Country Encounters is a gallery feature with a unique twist: everyday photography with information, music and quotes, a style of educational entertainment.

The series will explore nature, wildlife, countryside, history, architecture and other assorted miscellany that l think will pique the reader’s interest that are also huge passions of mine.

Sandwich, Kent

Sandwich is found in the district of Dover in the County of Kent in England in the southeast of England. It is a medieval and historic market town today, just as yesterday. Today we have a population of a little over five thousand people, which is not too different from the number back in the history of this town either.

The River Stour lies on the edge of the town. Originally, Sandwich was one of the five Cinque Ports – the others being – Hastings, Dover, New Romney and Hythe. It meant ‘five harbours’ in old French.

Although it wasn’t always that close, the town is only two miles away from the sea. It used to be an important port; however, this changed once the River Stour started to silt up and alter how trade occurred. Visitors to the town might find it hard to imagine just how crucial Sandwich was to England as a port.

They might also find it challenging to understand how many bloody battles, raids and pillagings this little town has endured throughout its history especially given how small and compact everything is, from the narrowness of the lanes to the construction of the houses.

I have always been passionate about ancient and classical history, so living here in Sandwich as a photographer has also been a dream come true. 

Gazen Salts Nature Reserve

Gazen Salts owes its name to the leaseholder of the ‘Saltings’ John Gason, who was once a 17th century resident of Sandwich, Kent. 

The Guestling stream joins the Delf, one of the main waterways in Sandwich. Many of the streams in the town were present to help monks drain the lands when used for farming and to prevent flooding to the crops. After the 1457 raid by the French, many of the streams were widened and deepened and used as an additional line of defence and fortification.

The lake and the waterways in the Reserve are sustained by a sluice gate connected to the River Stour. The waters further feed and play host to a diverse range of wildlife, including species such as sticklebacks, pond skaters, diving beetles, frogs and toads, newts, kingfishers, moorhens, bats, rats, shrews, weasels, stoats, foxes, hedgehogs, moles, water voles, grass snakes, mallard, tufted, pochard and shoveler ducks, warblers, woodpeckers, blackcaps, sparrowhawks, grey squirrels, parakeets and others including many butterfly species too.

The woodlands are also home to flora species, such as primroses, celandine, dog rose, oak, ash, wild cherry, elm, field maple, wild privet, marsh marigold marshmallow, meadowsweet, blackbush, yellow iris and many other exciting plants of interest.

Dover District, Kent County

Kent is also known as the Garden of England due to the number of hops and produce gardens and is responsible for many locally sourced food and drink specialisations.

Dover is a district in the county of Kent. Sandwich is one of the towns in the district. The other two are Deal and the port town of Dover. There are 32 parishes in the district – such as to name a few; Ash, Aylesham, Capel-le-Ferne, Eastry, Eythorne, Great Mongeham, Lydden, Nonington, Kingsdown, St Margaret’s at Cliffe, Stourmouth, Temple Ewell, Walmer, Worth and Wingham.

On the north side of the district runs the River Stour, on the west is the Canterbury district, on the south is the parish of Capel-le-Ferne, with the Straits of Dover finishing off for the east.

I take several thousand photographs every month digitally; of that, around 15 – 25% are kept back for use within the blog in the galleries or other posts.

I use a Canon EOS 700D and several lenses; 18 – 55mm macro, 50mm macro, 75 – 300mm zoom lens, 18-135mm everyday zoom, and 120-400mm zoom. On occasion, l also use a Canon Ixus pocket camera.

Season 1

I hope you enjoy the photographs within the galleries.


Bengal Rose
“I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours
Kurt Vonnegut