Farningham Woods

This ancient, Kentish woodland straddles a hillside overlooking the Darent Valley. It lies within sight of the Dartford Bridge on the Thames close to the urban sprawl of London. I explored these woods almost daily as a child. At nearby Shoreham, a retired Slade professor, who gave me drawing lessons, showed me one of Samuel Palmer’s sketchbooks: it was filled with notes of trees and landscape studies of a nature already so familiar to me. In recent years, preservation of the unique character of these woods seemed increasingly threatened by man’s intervention in the name of conservation. On my return from abroad in 2001, I determined to make an informal record of Farningham Woods, as yet unpublished.

I am desperately resolved to try what can be got by drawing from nature. Samuel Palmer