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Arty Footsteps Part of the English National Park Experience Collection


On a bright February day, Jane Harbottle, Wildlife Artist and I met five visitors from Germany and Steph from the national project team to introduce Arty Footsteps to the German tour company representatives. Arty Footsteps is brand new and is part of the English National Park Experience Collection in Northumberland National Park. The idea, a simple one is to combine a guided walk with art in the Breamish Valley. There is a guided walk and the idea is to take some time to stand, stare and record through drawing the wonders all around us. Perhaps the camera phone has become the preferred way of gathering memories, but to sit down and look at the landscape from the big sky views down to lichen growing on a branch and then draw it is a fantastic way to gather memories of your walk.

The day began in the Ingram Valley Cafe with light refreshments. After that, it was on to the Ingram Valley Village Hall to pick up sketch pads and drawing pencils and then along the valley to walk up to Brough Law, a prehistoric hillfort with commanding views of the surrounding landscape. Halfway up the path, everyone stopped beneath a lichen covered hawthorn, took out skethchpads and pencils and spent 20-minutes getting immersed in drawing some of the features around us. It worked, it really did, a sense of calm and contemplation descended on the group and drawings were made to reflect tiny details of a lichen covered branch, a section of old drystone wall and the hills across the river. At the top of Brough Law, standing amongst the prehistoric stones, with the sun setting and some astonishing light illuminating the landscape, I felt that Arty Footsteps had been ‘born’. Jane and I are looking forward to welcoming our first guests on the Arty Footsteps Experience.

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