2023 is the year of the coast! An initiative set up to mark the creation of Englands new Coast path, a fantastic and ambitious journey of 2,700 miles The path is not yet fully complete but when it is it will be the longest managed coastal path in the world circumnavigating the coastline of England.
As a photographer on the Suffolk coast I have been following the progress of this project and have watched with interest as it has taken shape. Currently the East Coast has several sections of the path in Essex and Norfolk, which are now open although as yet there are none to walk in Suffolk.
We do have our own existing coastal path – the Suffolk Coast path, a 60 mile route which runs from Felixstowe to Lowestoft and it is this that has given me an idea for a new project for 2023.
I have been thinking for a while about compiling a book of my coastal photography but I didn’t want it to be a random collection of images and I have never really found a good theme to tie together the body of work – until now!
The Year of the Coast has given me an idea to use a journey along the Suffolk Coast Path to link all my images together.
I have decided to walk the coast path in sections exploring with my camera and writing about the experience. This will form the thread that runs through the project and will eventually tie together a body of work which I plan to turn into a book.
The project isn’t really about a long distance walk, it is much more about connection and gaining a greater understanding of the places and wild habitats that I pass through.
I know the coastline really well but I haven’t walked all of it so the journey will be a new experience which will allow me to discover some new places that I haven’t explored photographically before.
It will also be an exercise in really slow travel. I have decided to split the route into 9 sections and I plan to complete one section a month. Each section is a reasonably shot walk of between 6-8 miles but I will be allowing myself time to explore with the camera and really experience what the coast has to offer.
Suffolks coastline is a fantastic mix of wild landscapes, river estuaries, shingle beaches and crumbling cliffs. It is a varied landscape but also a vulnerable one and I hope to explore all these aspects on my journey. I hope you will all follow along on my blog and then get out and discover the wonders of the Suffolk Coast for yourselves.