June spirals of wool

Almost a midsummer event so here’s hoping that the weather smiles on us next Sunday afternoon 23rd ,  and on Monday 24th June as we will be taking over 600 metres of wool up onto Pen Trumau to create a spiralling line on the last untouched part of the upper part of the scar. We will be trying to follow the shape of this area spiralling inwards rather than starting in the middle and working out. This is because I am not aiming to impose a pattern , rather to let the line follow what is happening to the eroding peat. I imagine that the spiral will look a little like a tracing of the forces of wind and water, however nothing ever quite happens as you plan….

A few days earlier, weather permitting I will be going up on the hill with a couple of the local graziers to sow seed on this area before we install wool. This is a new suggestion and hopefully we will see if the wool helps the seed to establish either by protecting it if it is completely covered or just by giving shelter to exposed seed landing nearby.

So to details, there will be 6 pack ponies from Tregoyd Mountain Riding Centre making one trip up on Sunday and two trips on Monday and volunteers are needed to lead them up and then, if they want to, ride them back down.  Other volunteers are needed both carry as much wool as they feel they want to but most importantly, to help peg it down on the peat scar.

Please meet at Blaenau Fry 2 pm on Sunday and 9 am Monday. ( location map attached)directions-reviseed-8

The walk up can take roughly an hour and half, less if your are fit and speedy! It is up hill all the way and mostly on grass with two steep but short climbs at the start and end of the route. Depending on the weather we rarely stay on the hill for more than hour or so as it can be very extreme and there will be tea and cake on returning and so everyone can choose their own pace/ time to come down. (Route map attached)wool installation route

I have promised the farmer who kindly lets us use his ground for parking and tea and the stabling of the ponies that I will try to reduce the cars coming to the farm. So please lift share if you can. We can leave cars in Cwmdu Village Hall car park and share from there so if you have space please let me know so I can put you in touch with others (alternatively you might sort this out in the car park itself.)

It is imperative that you bring warm and waterproof clothing and wear suitable boots for the hill. Also I would advise bringing some sunscreen as the hill is very exposed.

I really look forward to meeting you all and hopefully creating a beautiful new line.


About caerhendre

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1 Response to June spirals of wool

  1. Lin Charlston says:

    This comment concerns a question I discussed with Pip recently: Why is the Woollenline worthwhile?
    We were leaning over a stone bridge looking down into the River Teme back in 2009 when Pip first told me about her vision for the project. She had discovered a large area of exposed peat near the top of Pen Trumau in the Black Mountains.
    “It’s like a huge wound that is not healing; the peat is eroding away and releasing locked-up carbon into the atmosphere”.
    Her experimental idea was to cover the scar with felted sheep’s wool which might act as a conservation textile; holding essential moisture; cooling the surface by reflecting back the sun’s rays and acting as an anchor to regenerate plant life.
    She described the image of the black peat turning to white and eventually to green.
    Pip is a mark maker, and the aerial photograph of the mark made by her first woollen line on the surface of the peat was full of meaning – both artistically beautiful and a symbol of environmental healing. But Pip’s vision went further than this. She wanted to involve a wide range of people through conversation and direct participation.
    Four years on, Pip has achieved a remarkable and evolving installation. She has raised awareness, changed viewpoints and stirred the local community. She has mobilised artists, environmentalists, writers, graziers, farmers, Ghurkhas, ponies, scouts, families, sceptics and enthusiasts of all ages.
    The value of the Woollenline project is that it has motivated people to work together, not because they are confident of a positive or profitable outcome but because they are asking questions and because they have each decided in a multitude of different ways to take part in direct action rather than look on as helpless spectators.
    This is art at its most powerful – a force for change.

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