'Keer to Kent' Extra

Photo: Paul Glading

A ‘century’ of Keer to Kent

Keer to Kent, the Journal of the Landscape Trust, had been published continuously three times a year since September 1986, meaning that 2019’s final edition was issue 100. As it was also the first issue to be edited by a new editor, this seems a good opportunity to look back over 100 issues to see how the journal has developed over time. Particularly fascinating, reading through the old issues, is to see how particular issues recur and change. Issue 1, for example, contains two mentions of the newly-introduced grey squirrel and the threat it posed to the indigenous red squirrel; Issue 101 has an article about how the Dallam Tower Estate is controlling grey squirrel numbers with a view to helping the long-term recovery of their red cousins. Issue 50 has an article on sea level change: but the sea level change described is the natural change that occurred when the ice melted after the ‘recent’ Devensian glaciation. In 2020 we assume sea level change is man-made; in 2003 it was assumed to be something natural.

Some things haven’t changed. Ann Kitchen’s advice on layout and presentation as well as proofreading is as ‘indispensable’ as then-new Editor Terry Keefe described it in Issue 50, which also contains much correspondence on the plight of the red squirrel.

I have an ambition to compile a digital archive of all the back issues of Keer to Kent. Fortunately, former editors have laid much of the ground-work for this since the move towards digital printing resulted in a ready-made collection of at least most of the more recent issues. For older issues, sadly, there is no alternative but to scan the printed copy. Compiling the complete archive will obviously take some time but as a taster of what it is to come, you will find that we now have a fledgling Keer to Kent Archive on this site, which includes an excellent index, originally compiled by Terry Keefe (and, coincidentally, launched in Issue 50) and kindly kept up to update by Mike Smith.

There are a number of features in the early issues which have fallen by the wayside over the past three decades, including walks, puzzles and some beautiful drawings. Most notably perhaps is the ‘Letters to the Editor’ column. This editor would be happy to print any correspondence he receives, about Keer to Kent or about the issues featured in the journal, to editor@keertokent.org.uk. Are there any features from the past you’d like to see revived?

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