3 Days in December
These images were made on the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex during a particularly cold spell of weather in early December 2010. With average temperatures at -1˚C, five degrees below the normal, it was the coldest December in England since records began a century ago.
Whilst 2010 was Britain’s 12th coldest year in records dating back to 1910 at the United Kingdom’s Meteorological Office, newly released scientific data from NOAA (the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) shows that 2010 equalled 2005 as the Earth’s warmest year over the last 131 years. The combined global land and ocean surface temperatures were 0.62˚C above the 20th century average, 14.52˚C compared to 13.9˚C. 2010 was also the wettest year on record.
‘Forest’ is a medieval term for a hunting ground, customarily owned by the monarch, in part wooded and setting its own laws. Ashdown Forest was originally a deer hunting forest in Norman times, but over many centuries its trees have also been a source for the fuel needed in the local smelting and iron workings and for the production of timber.
Its 6500 acres is now the largest free public access space in the southeast of England. The Ashdown Forest has national and international protection as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.