Northamptonshire Canute’s queen would have known these fish but not the now local mink – or the roses that are taking over Denmark’s dunes

The broad river Nene is ponded by a substantial weir to the south-east of Northampton. The deep water is still, clear and, at present, sunlit. The northern side of the river supports extensive patches of lily pads; they blast out green as the sun sparks and flashes between them.

The open water to the south side is occupied by great herds of bream – big fish with pointed fins, vertically flattened bodies and jutting scaled heads.

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