We are looking for contacts, local community groups, interested individuals, routes into funding, places to exhibit, support, volunteers, publicity and people to network with in order to develop our projects.
Please contact us by emailing milesanddacombe@virginmedia.com.

Monday, 21 May 2012


Whilst waiting for the group to arrive Jo and Carole were amazed by the amount of birdsong they could hear in such a built up area. Their meeting point was at the entrance to a narrow public footpath which cut through a housing estate and ran past a building site and a cricket pitch.


Once the walk began we came across this sign

small roses wound their way over rickety wooden fences

John could not resist the allure of this digger busy breaking the ground, creating space for new houses

Lilac bushes escaped the confines of suburban gardens, providing a blush of subtle colour at the side of the dark, shady pathway. Broken glass lay glittering in the mud, and the calling cards left by less than caring dog owners. We also spotted a mini windmill attached to the side of a house. 

The sky wasn't at its most photogenic, but gardens gave colour to the day.

Once at the entrance to the middle section of our bridge Jo produced her visual of the woven bunting and explained that, like the tree tent created in Finedon on the previous walk, this would be a very temporary addition to the bridge.

Jo had found some wonderful fabric with really strong colours and texture and had devised a fixing method using the ever trusty cable tie! Carole was tasked with organising the weaving on the bridge whilst Jo worked with the documentary team who would film some of the activity for the Light Walks film.

These two photos were taken by John

and the event was filmed diligently by Jo, Sam and Daniel

During the installation the weaving team received toots of encouragement from the passing traffic, we wondered if any of them had read Jo's Tweet earlier that morning!

Everyone worked in small groups, trying to create 

as little distraction as possible to passing vehicles.

Two Light Walks team members were extremely brave as both were incredibly nervous about heights so it took great courage and determination for them to cross the bridge. 

Everyone gave cheers and shouts of encouragement as they made it to the other side, no one wanted them to miss Carolyn's Jubilee treats! 

Whilst waiting for the intervention to be completed they made friends with this beautiful pony.

Here is the jubilant Light Walks team, glowing with pride after their weaving triumph and ready for the next part of the walk.

It seemed amazing and strange to have walked through housing, across a main road and to find ourselves back in the countryside on a narrow path enclosed by trees, hedges, wild undergrowth and cow parsley.

We tried not to disturb the sheep and lambs as we walked past, but they were full of the joys of Spring and bounced off across the field, leaving us to our picnic.

Homemade herb scones with cream cheese and smoked salmon horseradish

with lovingly created Victoria Sponge

After the picnic we returned to the bridge to remove our beautiful bunting.

Light Walks For Dark Days May Intervention
Woven Jubilee Bunting

1.00 pm - 3.00pm,  May 21st, 2012

Imagined by Miles & Dacombe

and created by the Light Walks For Dark Days Team

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Seeds, Scoping, Making Plans

Whist out scoping their May Light Walk Carole and Jo found this bridge spanning the A6 near Rushden / Higham Ferrers. Whilst standing on the bridge they decided the intervention for the next walk should involve weaving something through the bars. Ribbon? Fabric? 

When they reached the other side and looked back at the bridge the V shaped bars seemed to suggest bunting. There was only a few days between the scoping walk and the actual walk and they knew that they would need permission to attempt their intervention in such a public space. Jo undertook the creation of a marvellous visual of what they intended to make and scoured Leicester market for something suitably red, white and blue to weave into the bars.

Carole tracked down the right people to talk to about getting permission, it was touch and go, would the powers that be say yes, would the group say yes, would the forms get signed in time? Thankfully Yes was the resounding end to the week. Both artists are very excited about their Jubilee inspired activity and rumour has it that Carolyn is busy creating a fabulous picnic to take out on the walk.

Beyond the bridge, the intrepid explorers crossed into fields, where the sun danced on buttercups and lit the grass a delicious translucent green.

Around a complicated three-directional kissing gate...

and into a further field, the flourescent yellow of rapeseed glowing in the distance. The sky became an incredible heavy blue-grey, further brightening the yellows and greens around into an almost surreal effect, they felt as though they were stepping into a painting.

And then...

they could see the heavy clouds approaching, and before they could zip up their jackets a violent hail storm was upon them! Throwing its little bullets in their faces, they had to crouch by a hedge for cover.

As they were trying to shelter from the hail Carole's phone rang, it was Alastair from the Northamptonshire Community Foundation, concerned that Beanfield Artists' (Miles & Dacombe) Local Giving Page had received no donations and was missing out on the NCF match giving opportunity. Carole said that both she and Jo had been Tweeting, emailing, contacting supporters and were hoping to hear about some definite donations shortly - again the news at the end of the match funding period was good and they have raised some funds to put towards the Art of Growing project they are planning at The Green Patch in Kettering later in the year. A big thank you  to all who donated - although the match funding has ended it is still possible to donate by clicking the Local Giving icon on the homepage of this blog or by following this link.

On the way back to Kettering Carole and Jo decided to see if anything had started growing in Finedon, on the site of their last Guerilla Gardening adventure with the Light Walks group. Jo had no trouble at all climbing over the wall whilst the less than agile Carole stumbled into some nettles disturbing the rabbit kitten sheltering under the assorted greenery.

The recent rain and the slightly warmer days had caused a lot of growth 

but they managed to find traces of their seed bombs,

some of which had started to sprout.

It had been an amazing day, with all sorts of weather, dramatic light and the promise of new growth. Plans were afoot for the next walk, coming soon in the next post - would the bridge bunting installation be a success?

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Attention to Detail and Map Making

Our Light Walk for April took us to Sywell Country Park and Reservoir a tranquil space which exists on the site of a former drinking water reservoir near the village of Sywell in East Northamptonshire. The reservoir was built at the turn of the 20th century to supply water to the Higham Ferrers and Rushden areas which connect neatly with two of our chosen locations for the Light Walks project. The reservoir operated between 1906 and 1979 and is now a beautiful country park with paths and wooded areas ripe for exploration. The land for the reservoir was purchased from the Stockdale family estate at adjoining Mears Ashby and covers an area of 280,000 square metres. 

It was our intention during this walk to encourage the group to look at nature in detail, to try and identify trees from the Nature Detectives Leaf Hunt sheet and plot all the sights, sounds, landmarks and wildlife that made an impression on them during the walk. There were a few greyish clouds scudding across our path during the walk but we had more sun than cloud which sparkled and bounced across the rippling water. There were pollen heavy trees, seed pods left from the autumn, fresh leaves unfurling and blossom in both trees and hedgerows.

buds about to burst into colour

We disturbed this cheeky squirrel feasting on the bird table!

A robin hunting about in the cool , fresh mud

Occasionally our walk was punctuated by the sound of planes from nearby Sywell Aerodrome out on manouvres

We were able to watch a pair of nesting swans

On one of the trees near the bird hide someone had carved a heart which has grown and stretched over time

Lloyd's Map

Our intervention for this walk was to create a map recording our impressions using drawings and stamps. Jo had prepared a template map showing just the basic outlines and it was up to the walkers to fill in the gaps in their own way.

This is a composite map combining elements from several maps

We could not be sure just which of this pair was the speediest, Charlie, Carole's whippet could only be off the lead in certain places but was more than happy to match the pace set by the group. His friendly human beat us all back to the car park by at least 10 minutes, much to everyone's surprise and delight!

Sunlight sparkled diamonds on the water

We were intrigued by the Valve Tower


and finally back down the steep steps, all smiles!