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Top image: research photograph from initial interview with traditional fishermen (and women) of Morecambe Bay

Seldom Seen™ - Mapping Morecambe Bay

With editions of the Islands of Barrow map, version 1 already in print, a collaboration with Morecambe Bay Partnership led to funding being secured to produce a further 4 maps of the area. Maddi Nicholson devised the in-depth process of researching new content for the maps. Nick Owen was engaged as project manager. Throughout, the Art Gene team; Stuart Bastik, Darly Plugh, Charlie McKeith, Katy McCormick and Ruth Pringle contributed in multiple ways.  

Stage 1: casting a wide net

Art Gene began the lengthy process of hunting information for the new maps by consulting both residents and stakeholders - at this stage not primarily to gather facts, but to refine a successful consultation processes that would engage residents, businesses and stakeholders alike.

Islands of Barrow:

ASKAM CLLRS BARROW AND AREA BLUE BADGE GUIDES PRESENTATION HERITAGE EVENT BARROW TOWN HALL HERITAGE TALK AT ROOSE LIBRARY

Furness:

FORD PARK ULVESTON GOLF CLUB UNLVESTON TOWN COUNCIL

Cartmel Peninsula:

GRANGE LIDO (RESEARCH VISIT) CARTMEL VILLAGE HALL

Arnside & Silverdale:

ARNSIDE AND SILVERDALE ANOB LEIGHTON MOSS

Morecambe & Heysham:

MORECAMBE BOAT CLUBHEYSHAM POWER STATION CONDOR GREEN SUNDERLAND Meanwhile, using Ordinance Survey maps and Google Maps, Stuart Bastik continued to chart the physical landscape of the Bay across 4 new maps. It was decided to make a second version of the original Islands of Barrow map to accommodate new information flooding in.

Stage 2: Meetings with Morecambe Bay Partnership team

Art Gene met frequently with the team at Morecambe Bay Partnership to learn about their conservation and renovation projects, and to benefit from expertly guided tours around the parts and sites of the bay that Morecambe Bay Partnership identify as significant.  
Image below: Art Gene and Morecambe Bay Partnership
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Stage 3: Volunteer Place Makers

A series of volunteer recruitment and training sessions took place at Art Gene, Barrow-in-Furness to enlist volunteers to aid in gathering information – and assist managing the wealth of facts, stories, photographs and objects which would be presented during the forthcoming series events. Training developed research and communication skills, as well as practical, administrative skills.

Stage 4 and 5. Seldom Seen Events

As series of free, expert-led guided walks and road show events took place across the Morecambe Bay area.

Seldom Seen Walks

More than a walk in the country, more than looking at a view, the Seldom Seen Walks were led by a team of artists, and showed new ways of exploring the countryside and challenging what you see. Guest expert artists, historians, natural scientists and local specialists facilitated conversations around the many points of interest along the way.

Seldom Seen Road Shows

To develop the Seldom Seen Archive of assets and hidden histories of Morecambe Bay, Art Gene needed to speak with hundreds of people to collect stories, folklore, old photographs, objects and artefacts. At each road show, the latest versions of the maps were on display and Place Maker Volunteer teams helped draw visitors in conversation, completing asset information surveys to add gleaned content to the maps. Experts were also present, ensuring a true exchange of information about the natural, historic and built environment of the bay. The many objects brought in were photographed and archived. In 2015, partners Sustrans and Morecame Bay Partnership were instrumental in opening the Morecambe Bay Cycleway, which traverses all 5 Seldom Seen maps, connecting up and improving 130km of relatively flat cycle routes around the bay. Art Gene brought their road show pizazz to celebrations and collected the voices of cyclists and route users to add to their maps. Seldom Seen™ is an unregistered trademark of Art Gene. © Stuart Bastik & Art Gene. Published by Art Gene, Barrow-in-Furness, United Kingdom 2016.  All images, artwork and text on this website are protected by copyright and may not be downloaded or otherwise reproduced or distributed without the permission of Art Gene. The Seldom Seen Series of Maps and Apps, have been supported by the National Trust, RSPB, Natural England and the Cumbria Wildlife Trust.
Image below: consultation event: Guided Walk
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Further Reading