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Downstream, River Tees, with Laura Harrington

17 August 2019 10:00 am - 17 August 2019 5:00 pm


Visit to Teesmouth National Nature Reserve, Teesmouth Field Centre, Greatham Creek, RSPB Saltholme

Please call MIMA or email mima@tees.ac.uk to sign up.  Free and transport included. Adult workshop. Please book by 17:00 12 August 2019.

This day-long field trip is an opportunity to explore the River Tees at its mouth with artist Laura Harrington, Ann Oxley, Miranda Tuffnell and Warren Harrison. Together, we will spend an immersive and experiential time exploring the North side of Teesmouth. The day begins at Teesmouth National Nature Reserve and the North Gare. Here we will walk with Ann Oxley and move with our bodies with Miranda Tuffnell. This will involve some sitting quietly, working together, some writing and sharing. We will then visit the Teesmouth Field Centre on the site of the Hartlepool Power Station for a picnic lunch. After we will visit the intertidal zones and recent flood alleviation schemes of Greatham Creek with Ann Oxley and Warren Harrison, finishing the day at RSPB Saltholme.


10:00               Set off from MIMA (mini-bus)

10:30               Arrive at Teesmouth National Nature Reserve/North Gare

10.30 – 11:00  Walk with Ann Oxley (Teesmouth Field Centre) to North Gare

11-12               Workshop with Miranda Tufnell (North Gare)

12:00              Leave North Gare (mini bus)

12:15               Arrive Teesmouth Field Centre (lunch, hot drink, comfort break and conversation)

1:15                 leave Field Centre towards Greatham Creek (mini bus)

1:30 – 15:15    Greatham Creek (Ann Oxley and Warren Harrison)

15:15               Set off for RSPB Saltholme (mini bus)

15:30:              Arrive RSPB Saltholme for tea/cake and brief introduction to the site

16:30               Set off for MIMA (mini-bus)

17:00               Arrive back at MIMA

What to bring:

We will be walking mostly on paths but on sand at certain points. Bring comfortable shoes and clothes suitable for the predicted weather of that day. We will be eating lunch at Teesmouth Field Centre, where we can eat outside if the weather is kind or inside if not. There are toilets and we will provide some warm drinks for participants.

Tea and cake will be served at RSBP Saltholme.

Bring water with you as well as your lunch.

People involved

Laura Harrington is an artist who is based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Her work operates across different mediums, often in different multi-disciplinary research and collaborative environments. She has a specific interest in geomorphology and the field of physical geography; drawing on the notion of fieldwork to playfully explore the complex relationships and interdependencies at play involved in our experience and understanding of landscape and ecology. Through her work she playfully looks for ways to re-stage our understandings of different landscapes not as remote or isolated landscapes but as places deeply intertwined with our day-to day lives.

Ann Oxley was born and educated in Newcastle-on-Tyne, so a Geordie at heart, but has lived on Teesside since 1961. Ann married into a family who farm at Bowesfield in Stockton, where the longest boundary was the River Tees. She has been involved with Teesmouth Field Centre since 1972 and has witnessed many of the recent changes in the area first hand. She taught Biology at Stockton Sixth Form College and since retirement dedicates more time to the Field Centre Management and group fieldwork as a volunteer.

Miranda Tufnell is a dance artist, writer, Alexander teacher and cranio-sacral therapist. For over 40 years she has been driven by a passion and curiosity about the nature of the body and perception. She seeks ways to be more imaginatively awake and present to what is around us.  She explores ways to bring a deeper sense of connection to our surroundings in order to heal some aspects of our cultural habit of separation between ourselves and our environment.

Warren Harrison is an Associate Dean at Teesside University Business School. When he first saw Ian Macdonald’s photograph, ‘Cote Hill Island’ (in 1990), he was fascinated by the buildings, the landscape, and the location. He had no idea where it was, who had built the sheds and cabins and why they were there. The image remained with him and in 2012 he started to seriously consider a project that would explore his original questions. In 2016 he started work on The Creek, a documentary film, exploring the experiences of the ‘residents’ of which little had ever been documented.  He also spent considerable time at the creek in order to experience it as well as make sense of why the place still remains so important to the community that resided there from the early nineteenth century to the early eighties. There is evidence of human habitation of the creek since the Bronze Age, and his film tells the story of the final people to live there.

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