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12th April A Sunny Easter Saturday Sunday 12 April

Kerry with Burnley born Emily Fallows, recent graduate in environmental management and social geography

Perambulating with the pull along cart (sit–on–able), undertaking a human habitat survey

hiddenplaces sites along the canal

Having walked the canal yesterday with Trevor I noticed that it was possible to get the studiolab onto the towpath – but only by accessing the towpath at the Colne Road bridge – and we wouldn’t be able perambulate the full length of the mile straight.


Easter Sunday was spent along the canal with Emily Fallows Emily was born in Burnley but brought up in Liverpool She is currently my mentee, and assisting me on a commission for the Liverpool Biennial Urbanism 09 programme A soon to be graduate in social geography and environmental management – Emily has ambitions to work within regeneration – and is specifically interested in the impact of art in the public realm upon local communities. For the past few months Emily and I have been doing a Phase 1 Habitat Survey of the Leeds Liverpool Canal from Litherland/Seaforth to Bootle. The first thing Emily said to me about this stretch of the canal - as we walked along the towpath – was “It’s no where near as biodiverse as the stretch in Liverpool” And indeed it’s not… My aim for today was to conduct a Human Activity Survey of the canal. I have devised a HUMAN ACTIVITY RECORDING sheet for the LEEDS LIVERPOOL CANAL This is a snippet of it… HUMAN ACTIVITY RECORD SITE FROM No. of Gender Aprox.** Activity people age


Emily and I set up station at the aqueduct – Site 5 And parked ourselves there for 3 hours Emily recorded everyone who passed by Their approximate age – gender - ethnic origin (very broadly speaking because this was done on appearance only), and what they were doing 2

Whilst Emily recorded, my intention was to draw yellow plants… coltsfoot, dandelions, and winter flowering jasmine – all of which can be found along the canal. A row of coltsfoot grows at the base of the aqueduct bridge where it buts the to towpath - I picked one and placed it under a magnifying lens to draw its pollen heavy stamen – coloured pencils at the ready…


There were far fewer people on the canal today that yesterday But as I began making the first marks on the paper A dog walker came over…

Terry was in the mood for a long conversation Since his wife passed away it’s just been him and his dog Suzie For Terry – the canal is his social life He comes along here daily with Suzie and usually with his 2 friends Mark and Dave “We’re like the “Last of the Summer Wine” he laughed 70 years old – Burnley born and bred Terry got his first job at the age of 15 - in the pit across the way. “It was hard work – but the money was good. I worked the seam called the yard high, because it was a yard high - I shudder at the thought of going down there now.” “Who would have thought it back then that we’d have such a thing as wind farms…? They’d ‘ave laughed at you at the very idea… We were told that we had a job for life…” 4

“There’s been so many changes over the years – used to be that you’d save up for a twin tub, and if it broke down you’d fix it – but nowadays if you’re washing machine breaks down it’s cheaper to go out and buy a new one” Terry has had several major heart attacks and has a pacemaker fitted with an electric charge – should he have a heart attack it will hopefully boost him and get his heart started again. He likes being outside and he loves walking – and that’s why he spends so much of his time along the canal – it’s flat and he walks along it at a slow and steady pace. He finds this stretch of the canal “soothing” and loves being out along the towpath whatever the weather – “wind, rain, sun, and snow” “But if you go further up towards Nelson, it becomes closed in by the mills and is depressing” It’s a fare comment – this stretch of the canal is elevated, and you can look down into Thompson park…


… and from along the mile straight – you can look down into the town or across towards Townley Park or the Todmorden Valley

Terry – like others we met - commented upon the litter in the canal and household waste chucked over the fences Before he left our company he said that he was glad he came along the canal today and bumped into us – he had enjoyed talking to us.


Just as I picked up my pencil to continue my drawing – another dog walker stopped for a chat

Ken was more interested in the cart and us and what we were up to than talking to us about Burnley – which of course is fare enough Moments after Ken had walked on, Wesley, who Trevor and I had talked to yesterday, approached on a bike, with a fishing rod balanced on the handlebars He stopped “I’m glad I’ve seen you – I’ve just been watching 2 yellowy green birds going in and out of the wall on the tow path – I think they were building a nest – and I wanted to tell you” And then a lady who Trevor spoke to yesterday came by “Where’s the man I was speaking to yesterday?” I wanted to tell him that I’ve just seen a little tiny bird – this small” She held her forefinger and thumb about 8 cm apart “He was singing his little heart out – really very loud. I wanted to ask the gentleman what it was” “Did it have a round body and a sticky up tail?” I asked “Yes – yes it did” “Ah – well that’ll be a little wren – they’ve got one heck of a voice!” “Thank you – it’s really nice to know that I’ve just seen and heard a wren” 7

I was chuffed that 2 people we talked to yesterday about birds along the canal are now taking note of the birds along a stretch of water that they walk on a regular basis – the birds are most likely regulars too. It took me all but 3 hours to do one sketchy sketch of a coltsfoot Easter Sunday – relaxed folk having a day out – plenty of time to pass the time of day Happy faces and talks about bicycles, gentle exercise, walking, and being outdoors Before we began our Human Activity Survey we had decided to limit it to two and a half hours – Our survey complete – the sun still shining – and having stayed stationary for quite some time - we decided to walk down the mile straight – as far as we could go with the studiolab…

To experience more contrasting views… 8

A canal barrier gate eventually obstructed our way We turned around to make our way back along the canal 9

Walking back we saw a young woman kayaking along the canal.

She paddled over to ask what we were up to – she had seen me yesterday and was curious. I explained… and said I was glad that she’d stopped to talk to us because I was curious about her too Turns out she used to be a member of the canoe club at Site 6 (canoe training – sound your horn), and when the canoe club moved across town to new premises she bought this kayak off them. She’s been kayaking this stretch of the canal on her own for 3 years now, and much prefers going solo than being on the water with others - Rose is 17 years old. There was something else I wanted to ask Rose – how does she get in an out of the water?


“Well – I put the kayak on the bank, sit in it, pull this up around me (tugging at the waterproof skirting) and push myself along the bank, with my arms until the nose of the Kayak falls over the edge and I land in the water. And to get out, I paddle to the edge, pull this back (again tugging at the waterproof skirting) and crawl out onto the bank – hoping that I don’t fall in” So now I know We encountered Rose after we had completed our Human Activity Survey – so she’s not recorded in the data below… HUMAN ACTIVITY DATA - LEEDS LIVERPOOL CANAL - BURNLEY SITES From: - Site 5 To: SITE TOTAL NUMBER OF PEOPLE 5 Unknown › 70 5



Unknown – mixed adult

12/O4/09 FEMALE & AGE


Unknown – mixed adult




1 x child 1 x teens 3 x 20’s 13 x 30’s 18 x 40’s 7 x 50’s 8 x 60’s 1 x 70’s

1 x toddler 2 x 20’s 5 x 30’s 8 x 40’s 5 x 50’s 2 x 60’s 1 x 70’s

Walking x 26 Walking dog x 9 Walking with i-pods x 2 Running x 4 Cycling x 33 Cycling with dog x 2 Barging x 11


CANAL BLUES CRUISE Listening to live music

3 lone females 1 x 60’s walking 1 x 20’s cycling 1 x 70’s dog walking And 26 lone males All other activity shared




2 x Jack Russells Collie Springer spaniel Wire hired terrier Bedlington terrier Husky Staff type Brown Labrador 5 x Black Lab X’s


















BARGIN G 2 x ›35 1x3 1x2 1x2 1x4





Of all the people that passed – only one was not white European looking – an Asian gentleman walking on his own And as a footnote to activity along the canal – it’s worth my mentioning that cyclists are required to have a permit to cycle many of the British Waterways towpaths To get a free download permit go to After collating our data – Emily left Burnley at 6.18 pm But my day continued… Too tired to go out, I ate in the hotel restaurant Fish pie and seasonal vegetables from the Specials Board And oh my god – I have never ingested so much saturated fat – way, way, too much cream and butter. I was too tired and too hungry to complain – and ate it all Shattered – I was in bed by 11.00 And that’s when my 24/7 really began…