Walk The Plank

Salford-based outdoor art experts Walk The Plank are inviting 20,000 people to light up  UK landscapes for a Green Space, Dark Skies project next year.

Walk The Plank are working with partners including The University of Salford, National Parks UK and Siemens to combine nature and technology to create something that’s never been done before.

Creative producer John Wassell said: “We’ve done major collaborations, but never on this scale, we, Walk The Plank have never done anything on this scale within 30 years. We’re on top of our game but it’s a massive undertaking.

“We’re currently in the dialogue with the University about different ways the students can get involved as part of their coursework and events themselves. For example they might be technicians, journalism students, film makers, dancers, historians.”

The idea for Green Space Dark Skies began to develop after Mr Wassell was inspired by the 1932 Kinder Scout Trespass.

Mr Wassell said: “This land at the time was owned by very wealthy landowners, this got discussed in parliament which led to the introduction of public footpaths.

“Green spaces are absolutely crucially important to us in terms of an environmentally sustainable point of view. They’re important for health and wellbeing.”

Moving forward, Walk The Plank brought together 30 teams for the Research and Development process and were successfully commissioned by UNBOXED: Creativity In The UK.

Mr Wassell continued: “It’s huge, we’re very proud to have been successful in doing that.

“I love the research and development process, 30 teams were given resources to dream an idea that could be delivered.

“I’ve spent the last ten weeks going somewhere in the UK which are really beautiful locations and seeing how we can do participatory tech events in these places.”



However, Green Space Dark skies will have no live audience. Instead volunteers known as ‘Lumenators’ are being recruited to visit National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty at dusk where they will be filmed holding low impact lights to create a visual piece of art in a series of events from April to September.

Explaining the Lumenators role Mr Wassell said: “They get to be a part of a short film, we also want to care about their whole journey to doing that, a big part of our project is about their experience and how we make it rewarding for them.

“We will be going to 20 different locations around the UK. Each film will have a local composer, choreographer and writer to tell the story of the particular places, and people will be able to view the film online.

“People who we are particularly interested in reaching and getting to be Lumenators are people who wouldn’t normally access the landscapes. Whether it’s cultural, economic, social reasons or because they have a disability, we’re hoping through showing people that they can get to these landscapes and learn something from them.”

Environmental sustainability will be at the heart of Green Space Dark skies by being carbon net-positive, meaning that more carbon will be removed from the atmosphere than it produces.

Siemens technology will play a part in reducing the carbon footprint along with the Lumenators and local involvement.

Mr Wassell said: “We plan to work locally to where the event is, to climate invest locally 22 times since it’ll be 2022

“It’s about participation, a lot of our projects are to do with the place in which were working and being about the place and the people. What we’re trying to do through this project is bring these conversations to a public profile with things we need to deal with like access to land.”

To find out more about signing up to become a Lumenator and to keep updated with Green Space Dark Skies you can visit their website

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