1 SEPTEMBER 1939, Page 18

A Forbidden Beadh

A more than nominal objection may be raised against another notice in the same neighbourhood. It announces that " this field and the beach are private property." Such exclu- siveness is common to the land thereabouts. It would be difficult for a walker who took notice of placards and chains and wire even to come within sight of the creek, much less to dabble in its waters or to examine the rather strange botany at its edges. Nature has recently made the edge of the sea approachable at any state of the tide. Where once were slime and mud-banks is now a firmer surface, thickly covered with grass. A transformation has been seen here similar to that on some of the Essex marshes, where that astonishing hybrid, the spartina grass, has reclaimed acre after acre that had seemed quite irreclaimable. What a kindly Nature has made accessible less kindly humanity is forbidding. It cannot be too often insisted that the beach, the shore of the sea, is the first and most essential of national parks. An England where we may not approach the coast is no longer a bit of England.