Netherwood – click any image for full size
“Netherwood while a fictional name, is inspired by the picturesque English Lake District where I have lived all of my life,” Lauren Bentham says of her latest creation in Second Life. “I decided it was time for me to do a build based on my local surroundings which I have enjoyed on a daily basis for many years & share with others the experience and views I see every day, which I feel very grateful to have 🙂 .”
The result is a beautifully landscaped Homestead region which, for those who have visited the Lake District, England’s largest national park, is instantly reminiscent of the rugged beauty to be found there. But there is also something more here as well; the tall, snow-capped peaks which rise steep around the region, their lower slopes clad in fir trees, carry a suggestion that Netherwood could easily be located in other parts of the world as well.
At the landing point on the west side of the region, visitors are confronted with a railway line, apparently disused, running beneath the boughs of trees and pointing the way eastwards. Follow it, and it will take you through a landscape shadowed by trees, overgrown with grass and heavy with bird song, to a narrow passage between wall-like cliffs, and the end of the line.
Beyond this, the landscape opens out dramatically to the left and right, and a genuine feeling of England’s north country is presented to the visitor. Dry stone walls denote grazing areas for cows and horses, tress rise from beside a curling stream, farm houses stand amidst rutted tracks, low-slung fences and wooden barns whilst sheep roam freely, grazing where they will. There’s even a familiar royal Mail letter box awaiting the arrival of the postman to collect the letters dropped into it!
On the east side of the region is a wooden quay, against which the water gently laps. Here, those who have visited the Lake District might be inclined to think they are standing on a quiet stretch of shoreline of Coniston Water or Ullswater, or perhaps think of Netherwood as one of Windermere’s many islands. Yet the truth is, such is the natural beauty of the region, it would fit with any of the lakes to be found in the 2292 square kilometres which make up the park.
But as I mentioned above, there is more here as well; the surrounding peaks also suggest Netherwood might reside elsewhere in the world, such as the Great Outdoor of the United States or Canada. A tall wooden water tower and broken windmill in the south-east corner of the land add to this feeling, while a more traditional windmill with a left-hand drive truck parked outside perhaps give the region a slight European influence. Nor are such influences out-of-place; rather they add to the charm and welcoming feel to Netherwood.
Needless to say, the region offers excellent photo opportunities throughout, and should you wish to rez props you can join the local group (L$150 joining fee to deter litterbugs). There are also places to cuddle or sit and admire the view, and the entire region is wrapped in a perfect ambient sound scape.
All told, Netherwood again demonstrates Lauren’s eye for creating atmospheric and evocative regions which can be enjoyed by everyone, and it has every right to become as poplar and as well-known as her other creations: Baja Norte (and its neighbouring regions), Storybrooke Gardens and Everwinter. Thoroughly recommended.
- Netherwood (Rated: Moderate)