I have been revisiting this fascinating landscape feature throughout the year and have come to know something of its moods as well as its many guises. It is a cormorant roost, a scheduled ancient monument, a hidden place and one of Britain’s last remaining duck decoys. Ironically the duck decoy at Hale is at once a lure to death and more latterly a place of life and gathering.

Painting of Hale Duck Decoy 2016 - John Elcock
Hale Duck Decoy / Oil on canvas

Its appearance reflects a sombre history and many of the trees stand blasted, pointing accusing fingers at the sky and providing convenient roosts for all manner of interesting birds. As access is carefully restricted there is a wonderful sense of secrecy and sacredness as you glimpse across the flood plain to imagine what lurks within.

40x40cm, Oil on Canvas.

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