It has been a while since we posted on this blog … we’ve been a bit busy, and here’s an update to share what has evolved from The Long View. The fourth of the seven trees, the Under Helm Sycamore, has become the central point for a new project. After a long while planning, we’re delighted now to have launched Sense of Here. If you’ve enjoyed following The Long View blogs, please sign up to the Sense of Here blogs and you’ll get to hear from us more regularly, and see what we’re up to.

We’re building on all we learnt through the Long View, and continuing our habit of taking pictures and writing notes and poetry, as we reveal more about the Lake District, ponder the challenge of managing change in such a complex place, and invite others to share their views.

I lie back, beneath the canopy
and when I imagine my own ‘here’
I find no boundaries
always one thing is connected to another
this place, this moment, isolated only in my mind
when every tree, every breath, every grain of soil
depends, utterly, on everything else

Through Sense of Here we’re bringing together walking, photography, poetry, research and debate: over the course of 2019 we’re meandering along an artful path to consider the many different elements that come together – and sometimes conflict – in this place we call home. We’re using the Under Helm Sycamore to mark the centre of an imaginary clock face that covers the Lake District, and we’re working around the clock, month by month. In each 30-degree section we are doing a series of walks; we’re camping; researching twelve different issues (from cultural heritage to soil, from wellbeing and social cohesion to tourism and farming); and we’re meeting people with special areas of knowledge to help us learn. And each month we are installing a canvas in the ‘hourly’ segment that’s allotted to that month; Harriet will be weaving poetry from this, and we will share the images on the Sense of Here website as we go.

February Camp at Angle Tarn, Cumbria

February morning, Angle Tarn, Cumbria
After a night camping, we witness the soft arrival of day at Angle Tarn

the morning counts itself in
with lines of light
where water holds the hills

We know that the elements here are not unique to this place, and opinions about what really matters vary widely. We’re curious to gather viewpoints from other people who live here, from other areas of the UK, and from around the world – so we have launched an interactive map that is growing as people share their own stories and opinions. You can see the map, find out what others have said, and add your own voice, here.

Sense of Here Data of the Heart map

In 2020 we’ll be doing a series of public events including walks, schools work, a young people’s symposium and an artists residency, and we will launch an exhibition and a book in the Autumn.

Please head over to the Sense of Here website to have a look at the project in more detail. Thank you!

beneath the silver birch
I am fluid and unrooted
adrift on archives of moss
while the sky deepens its blue
and the lake calms
black taffeta behind ghosted trees

Birch trees at sundown beside Ullswater


Of course we can’t stop visiting the seven Long View trees, and regularly return to say Hi. Just last weekend we strolled into the Troutbeck Valley to visit the Troutbeck Alder. The river beside it was low, the air was still, but alive with the song of skylarks and stone chats. The alder is ready to burst into leaf for summer, running a little behind the oaks and birch that have already found full leaf in the warmth of spring.

Troutbeck Alder April 2019

Troutbeck Valley woodland April 2019



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