Saturday, 31 July 2010

The Future of the Countryside


The STATE OF THE COUNTRYSIDE 2010 report has now been published and can be obtained from here.

It is available to download in various combinations from individual chapters to the whole report.

Would be very useful for those preparing to teach about urban-rural interrelationships, or the changes that might happen in future landscapes.

Handily, all the IMAGES can also be downloaded.

Changes in a landscape

Image by Flickr user Gee Bee under Creative Commons license

Imagine you look out of your window one morning and notice that the view you have been familiar with for so long has now changed because something has been added / been removed.

This sort of thing happens a lot, but it's always a shock when it's outside your own window.

The Trinity Centre Multi storey car park has been a part of the Newcastle skyline for decades.
It became famous for a scene in the film "Get Carter", with Michael Caine.

Today is the day when the process of demolition starts, and a useful article, with that famous scene was produced by the Daily Mail.

There's an interesting quote from the architect of the building: Owen Luder, who said that Gateshead was "losing its front teeth". As parents know, when your children lose their milk front teeth there's a bit of a shock for a few weeks but then they grow up and looking back at old photos a few years later you think "did they really look like that ?"

In the "Mission:Explore" book there's reference to topocide: the factors which help to "kill" a place...
How does the removal of familiar buildings like this affect a place ??

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Landscapes in Sound


Have been following up something from earlier today about the sounds of Sheffield....

Steel, Peach and Tozers (or Steelos) as everyone called it, was the place where my dad started work in the mid 1950s...

He was a draughtsman before moving into engineering role, and moved to a number of other mills, including Hatfields (now Meadowhall) before finishing at Aldwarke Works, Parkgate almost 50 years later...

I remember doing a photography project on the area between Rotherham and Sheffield and its dereliction in the late 1980s, after the earlier industrial development, with its attendant environmental implications.

Came across an album called THE SONG OF STEEL. Listen to the album on SPOTIFY if you have access to this...

One of the things that also features on the disc is the mention of "beer notes". My dad used to be one of the people who handed out beer notes which could be exchanged at the Temple pub just outside the foundry (which is now a museum called Magna, and also a training centre where I've presented several times...)

BBC Radio Ballads is a sound portrait, complete with songs from artists including the wonderful timbre of Kate Rusby.
There are loads of interviews with people who remember what life was like back then.

This is a wonderful sound portait of a place, and a lost industrial landscape....

Friday, 16 July 2010

Brown signs in the landscape...

There are apparently 93 different brown signs as shown on maps and roadsigns. They denote locations which are of tourist interest. I know this because I've been following the Brown Sign Way...

AMANDA HONE's BROWN SIGN BLOG is going to document visits to as many Brown sign locations as possible.

Why not explore the BROWN SIGNS in your local area - once you start noticing them, you'll find them everywhere (although I might have an advantage living in a tourist area of Norfolk...)

In the village where I used to live there was an interesting labelling. The brown sign used the generic "FARM PARK" to point to the attraction, which was actually called "PARK FARM": some locals assumed the sign had been made with the words the wrong way round...

One of my nearest brown signs.... picture by Alan Parkinson

Follow Amanda's progress on TWITTER and check out the blog.

These signs, like any road signs are part of the landscape: we don't necessarily notice them. They also sometimes point to landscape features.

One element of rural landscapes is the degree of "roadside clutter" that there is.

Lesson 4 looked at landscape changes...

More on roadside clutter in the next post...

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Dad's gone to Iceland....

New life pushing up through the ash deposits from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano: image by Val Vannet, taken last week

After many years of waiting, it seems like I will finally be going to Iceland later this year.
I will be accompanying teachers on an inspection visit to Iceland in October 2010.

The visit is organised by the Brighton based company TRAVELBOUND

Download an itinerary HERE (PDF download) and I might have the chance to spend a few days with you exploring and curriculum making...
Some of the places that are here are on the lists of places that must be seen when visiting Iceland...
  • Blue Lagoon near Reykjavik
  • Hekla
  • Solheimajokull Glacier trek
  • Kerid Crater and Thingvellir National Park
  • Reykjavik
  • Geysirs and waterfalls
  • Hellishollar
Why not request a copy of the brochure, or visit the Travelbound website to find out more.
If you'd like to come on the inspection visit, the price is £199, and you will need to do the following:

Contact James Walker on: 01273 265 266 for details.

I will be blogging the whole process of preparing for the visit, as well as creating an online home for a range of curriculum making resources. One outcome will be a unit for KS3 with the title (N)ICELAND ICELAND....
Currently exploring the workings of WORDPRESS to create the new blog, which is now available to view (although there's not much there yet) at (N)ICELAND ICELAND.

If you have been to Iceland and would like to contribute to the new blog in any way, please get in touch.
Special thanks to Val Vannet for the use of her excellent images....

The landscapes here have to be amongst the most dramatic in the world - and of course, I shall be producing a whole host of resources as a result of the visit.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Climb every mountain ?

One of the chapters that failed to make the "final cut" in the toolkit book was on the theme of Snowdon and the construction of the cafe at the summit.

The mountain has been in the news this week due to some work that has been carried out on one of the main tracks to the summit: the Miner's Track.

The Daily Mail had a slightly different angle on the story...

Another piece from Janet Street Porter could be used as a way of enquiring into changes in the landscape.

"Snowdon is being tamed and turned into a Welsh version of Disney Land"

I also had a Facebook message from colleague Tony Cassidy earlier in the week to say that he was standing on the summit...

Why not take some of the quotes from the article and debate whether the paths should be improved. What is to be gained and lost from this activity ?

'Snowdon is a mountain not a theme park for children. It defies common sense. Next they'll be wanting to put a lift up Everest or filling in the Grand Canyon. It is one of the most preposterous things I've heard of'

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Urban Stories new on the GA website

A great one for re-presenting urban landscapes....


Urban Earth is a project developed by Dan Raven Ellison.
I have blogged about it on numerous occasions before as a way for young people to re-present the urban spaces that they inhabit.

Ben Major has put together a great resource called URBAN STORIES on the GA website.

This suggests some additional ideas for using Dan's original URBAN EARTH walks and images....

Friday, 2 July 2010

Tour of Britain - Norfolk...

As already mentioned, the Tour of Britain comes to Norfolk later in the year...

Check out the movie...
Tour of Britain movie - Norfolk stage

Consider the choice of images and locations to represent the landscape of the places that the route passes through...

Why not make your own version of the movie ?

Thought for the day

‘The best views are views of familiar things, like cities and farms and bottlenecked freeways. So set aside the beauty of sunsets, the majesty of mountains, the imprint of winds on golden prairies. The world beneath our wings has become a human artefact, our most spontaneous and complex creation … The aerial view is something entirely new. We need to admit that it flattens the world and mutes it in a rush of air and engines, and that it suppresses beauty. But it also strips the facades from our constructions, and by raising us above the constraints of the treeline and the highway it imposes a brutal honesty on our perceptions.’ – William Langewiesche, ‘The View from Above’.

Psychogeography by the sea....

An interesting exchange on Twitter a couple of weeks ago...
Led me to some nice work on Hunstanton.
It's the work of Tina Richardson, who is a Cultural Studies PhD student at the University of Leeds. She has been exploring areas of Hunstanton. They are mapped using techniques that relate to the idea of "Psychogeography"....

ARCADES PROMENADES is one of the outcomes of Tina's work.

Don't forget my earlier early-morning virtual tour of Hunstanton that I did 2 years ago.