Bostadh Beach with its bell on Great Bernera, off the Isle of Lewis is an enchanting place. It is not a new discovery as evidenced by the Iron Age Village unearthed by a storm in 1992. Trying to encapsulate its charms with my humble words is a futile task; therefore, this will be a photo essay. In fact as with many places like this only a visit can convey the full experience.
Time and Tide Bell
In 2010, Bostadh was selected as a location for the installation of one of Marcus Vergette’s twelve Time and Tide Bells that are to be installed around the British Isles at the rate of one per year. The waves at high tide move a paddle which is connected to a striker which sounds the bell albeit reasonable quietly. With the predicted sea level rises over the coming decades the bells will not only toll more frequently but the tones will change subtly according to the height of the tides. It is not intended to be a part of the Dark Mountain Project, , but it fits nicely with the philosophy of civilisation being slowly drowned. The bells will toll more frequently signalling the demise of low-lying habitats around the world. Bostadh is an excellent place to stop and think, and perhaps the bell sounding will stimulate thought of places less fortunate as the tide comes in.
Installation of the bell at Bostadh was approved after local consultation and meetings. Objections were received just after the approval had been given. A number of people got in touch complaining that it would spoil the pristine natural environment at Bostadh. I’ve already mentioned the Iron Age village, in addition there is a cemetery, car park, toilets and picnic tables. However, there is little else there. Apart from the toilets there is no building newer than the Iron Age.
But, it seems for some people, a single bell can destroy paradise. But not as fast as the human race is managing to do in the early 21st century.