This isn't a pretty picture, and it isn't meant to be. Just below the village of Stoke Dry in Rutland is the Eyebrook Reservoir, formed from the Eye Brook being dammed in 1940 to supply water for the Corby Steelworks. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and it's here you will come across big telescopes looking at Bewick's Swans and Goosanders or retired couples just sitting in their cars with their Smith Kendon Travel Sweets. But much of this beautiful area is out of bounds, the preserve of permit-holders (who they?) and of course anglers. So far, so just about alright. I appreciate the fact that nature reserves need to be protected, that anglers must sit around all day not speaking with only a tin of maggots for company. But does it give them the right to allow this appalling and mediocre collection of bully boy signs? They will doubtless all puff-up their padded anoraks and tell us it's all about Elf & Safety, and you can't have just anybody walking about enjoying the countryside. If it's a case of vandalism or setting fire to stolen cars (this kind of sign encourages mindless acts) then get the Game Conservancy shootists down for a bit of practice. If it is necessary to keep people out then at least produce one decently designed sign that doesn't shout abuse at everybody who comes here. I find it ironic that on the corner of two signs it says 'Corus in the community'. Sorry about this rant, but perhaps it's worth remembering that in the Second World War RAF pilots risked their lives on this same water learning how to bounce bombs, in order for our freedoms to be preserved from fascistic bullies hell-bent on depriving us of them.
I am a designer, writer and photographer who spends all his time looking at England, particularly buildings and the countryside. But I have a leaning towards the slightly odd and neglected, the unsung elements that make England such an interesting place to live in. I am the author and photographer of over 25 books, in particular Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2006), More from Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2007), Cross Country (Wiley 2011), The Cigarette Papers (Frances Lincoln 2012), Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012) and English Allsorts (Adelphi 2015)