‘We leave Snape Maltings in a concert interval and stroll away from the crowd out through the marsh paths. The echo of the music recedes and a different sound takes over, that of the whispering reed beds of the Alde.

The view from the Maltings to the sea is consoling. It is of reeds penetrated by creeks, seeping up and down in the tide. The shingle bar of Aldeburgh lies directly ahead along the coast.

The Alde wetlands are closely protected. The reed beds and freshwater marshes of the serpentine river form part of the Suffolk Coast National Nature Reserve, a place of walkers and bird watchers. Otters are now repopulating the banks.

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The concert hall authorities have populated the marshes with modern sculptures. Art here intrudes uncomfortably on nature. ’

Extracted from ‘England’s 100 Best Views’ by Simon Jenkins, to be published by Profile books in October 2013 (£25 hardback)

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