Stalking the Hardy Ash
Just over 150 years ago, poet and novelist Thomas Hardy while working as an architect’s technician was in charge of the excavation of the graveyard in Old St Pancras churchyard, arranging for the removal of gravestones so that work could continue on the London & Midland railway. The gravestones were leant up against an ash tree. Over time, the tree roots have enmeshed the gravestones, creating an extraordinary feature.
Starting at Kentish Town station, our route will in places follow London’s hidden River Fleet. This photography walkshop will explore other unusual trees in the vicinity and seek out significant trees that Thomas Hardy himself would have seen. The finale of the walkshop will be encountering the Hardy Ash in Old St Pancras Churchyard.
This participatory walkshop will be led by Peter Coles, urban nature writer and photographer. Peter is Visiting Fellow and tutor at Goldsmiths, and a specialist on London’s mulberry trees. Peter has been co-creating intriguing Stalking Trees walkshops with the Museum of Walking for several seasons.
We are delighted to announce that we have special contributor to the walkshop:
Madeleine Hodge, Project Manager of The Ash Project, from Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Ash Project is an urgent cultural response to the devastating effects of Ash dieback. This project combines a major new commission by internationally recognised artists Ackroyd & Harvey with a wide ranging community engagement programme. The Kent Downs are coordinating artistic, conservation and scientific research to preserve memories of the tree in extraordinary and enduring ways for the generations who will live with the loss.
This event will start at Kentish Town rail & tube station and end at Old St Pancras Churchyard (approximately at 2 hours later) - nearest tube Kings Cross.
Suitable for Adults / Families – accompanied children only (participants to bring their own camera).
Booking is essential as numbers are limited. We will be confirming your place the day before and offering it to a waiting list if we cannot obtain confirmation. This free walkshop has been made possible through the support of the Mayor of London.
We at the Museum of Walking are not “tree huggers” but we do love trees, for we feel that they contribute more to our urban neighbourhoods than they detract. Urban trees are a hardy bunch, able to absorb not only natural hazards, but also man-made pollutants, restoring the quality of air we breathe, and providing habitat for many species of wildlife. Many trees have witnessed significant changes to their surroundings, so as our cities expand, some trees are threatened by development, others are planted to create new vistas, shade and shelter.