Marlborough Downs by Michael Spring

Michael Spring was born in 1953 and grew up in post-war London before moving to the Cotswolds in the mid 1960s. After university, he followed a career in Art teaching in Northumberland and in Oxfordshire. He draws much of the inspiration for his artwork and his writing from his travels and from the natural world.

In ‘Marlborough Downs’ he captures the beauty of the place tinged with the poignancy of the solitary walker.

Marlborough Downs


The larks cry in the chalkhill blue of air

As knapsack’d walkers, hung with camera gear

Look out across the downland’s humming heat

And couples wrestle with the plastic picnic seat


The children run the ancient rampart tops

And from a nearby hidden thorny copse

A cuckoo marks the passing of the hours

As farmers look up, spit and pray for passing showers.


From Uffington, I took the rutted lane

Which has the open ridge top as its line

Where wide the waves of early barley lap

And hewn from chalk, the great horse gallops at the lip.



And I walked on above the lambing fields,

The tidy grooming of the Lambourn folds,

Beyond the oilseed’s iridescent gleams

Above the blossoms borne by flinty streams.


And yet these wonders seemed to take a paler hue

For I walked there alone, and was so far from you.


Michael Spring

The Ridgeway  May 1987


For ‘The Downs at Dusk‘ by Kenneth Spring

(Michael’s father) click below.

Kenneth spring