As you enter the field from the south end, you pass the dump. On Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s it’s closed and this is often, conveniently one of the days I find I have a bit more time to explore. As you go through the entrance to the field you can either follow a path that branches one side to the left (up the hill) and one side to the right (running alongside the railway line). Before you get to this branch, immediately to the right is well worn path snaking through the undergrowth alongside the dump boundary.
It looks so well established. In the winter when everything was bare you hardly noticed it, but now it is the perfect invitation. Before you get to the the dump there is a curious area fenced off. It is a large rectangular ditch and since all the rain, it has filled up with brown sludgy, stagnant water. It’s something to do with Anglian Water at some point, so the sign says. In the water is an array of discarded objects and bits of rubbish. A perfect fly tipping spot obviously, for those who almost made it there.
Further up the path, I feel a bit of uneasiness rising in my stomach. It’s not my usual time, it’s approaching dusk and as I follow the path, I notice how still and secluded it has become. The undergrowth grows taller and forms a roof above my head as I duck through. The path leads along the palisade fencing and I can peer through at the huge metal containers inside the tip.
I can see two camping gas canisters strewn on the path up ahead and wonder. What on earth am I doing? One day I’m going to get myself in a situation I wish I hadn’t. Is it irrational to feel scared or plan stupid to keep poking about in these places? A lone woman pushing herself into dark, lonely places. Am I a thrill seeker after all? Either way my curiosity about the site means I can’t leave it. Also, I comfort myself with my track record. I have been hanging out quite regularly in these places for sometime and not really been confronted by another dweller, in person, despite the endless clues and traces that tell me they exist.
Anyway, I push myself in and the path closes down to impassable. Only to the left there is a kind of small opening. A tiny clearing that looks inhabitable. I push in, crouching down and squat by the base of a tree. I am completely surrounded. I pause to notice my feelings about being here. It is so calm, quiet and secluded. Like sitting in a little cocoon, sheltered and protected by the thorny, tangled armour of under growth.
I snap away at some finds, some half buried, some hanging from trees. Their randomness like some kind of poetry. It is this excitement that keeps me poking about in these places. It’s the finds that lure me in. The promise of another object who’s identity can never be predicted. This is the main part of the thrill. Finding. An encounter with another place and another life.