Monday, 25 February 2013

Ancient Kelp Forests

land tree - sea tree: did kelp grow in those ancient seas?

Seaweeds do not fossilise well so it is hard to know what the algal landscape might have looked like in those limestone seas

But we hope there was kelp, the rich, spectacular trees of the sea, and deep sweeping kelp forests like we still see today. In this next phase of the project, we want to encourage more seaweed and to see the beginnings of the kelp forest in this picture grow richer, longer and more dramatic to fully realise the immersal experience of visiting our Ancient Landscape!

Every stone tells a story

a box of ancient memories

Every stone tells a story

Walking through the Peak District, we step on stories that run through all the long years of human life in Britain. The stories run still further back until the landscapes of 300 million years ago are worn smooth by our feet

The limestone of the White Peak can tell us about ancient seas and fabulous animals from before the days of the dinosaurs. In this project we will explore those rocks: visiting outdoor sites, looking at fossils and formations, building on our understanding of how those prehistoric environments shape the landscapes around us now. We will look at the end of the limestone days, and the climate change that shifted a world from limestone to millstone grit

A series of public events through 2013 will invite participants to

            explore Peak District sites where they can find out more about local geology and the fossils contained within our rocks and the environments where those rocks were first formed
            use different art media to apply that new understanding to creating models of those landscapes: textiles might shape reefs (knitting, felt, crochet and foam sculpture) and model making add trilobites and other creatures
            reflect on the ancient climate change we see in the transition between limestone and millstone grit and compare that to our current circumstances
            attend indoor events in museums, libraries, and visitor centres to look at and work with relevant fossils in more detail
            help create bigger "Ancient Landscape" installations for touring displays in local museums, libraries and other venues

crocheted, knitted, modeled and made,
the beginnings of an ancient landscape

Groups can also book sessions and special initiatives will link groups with different experience to share ideas and skills (eg adult knitting and crochet groups with school children, local geology groups with the wider public). We can either come in and do several workshops with a group or for groups with existing skills, we can simply offer an introduction to the project, a chance to handle fossils, talk, think and scheme wildly before letting the group let themselves plunge into those ancient seas and bask on prehistoric beaches (and 300 million years ago the land that would eventually become England was hovering somewhere around the equator)

activities might include inventing our own ancient rockpools

An on-line and other media presence will keep activities accessible to everyone encourage a wider range of people to walk across their local landscapes and to try making their own ancient landscape models 
a nautiloid, trapped forever in stone
The Nautiloid image is from our main project picture by Victoria Brown

Visit an Ancient Landscape!

Ancient Landscapes exhibition
2nd March - 14th April 2013

at Castleton Visitor Centre
10.30 - 4.30

from a time before the dinosaurs,
meet the world that gave us 
the limestone of the Peaks
made in crochet, knitting, drawing, painting and models

Including work by groups from Project eARTh and Borderland Voices and public events exploring the Carboniferous world of 290 million years ago when the limestone shales and gritstones of the Peak district were first formed.

public events on Sunday 24th March and Thursday 4th April
Castleton Visitor Centre, Buxton Road, Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WN