BBC Town Moor project

An image form a couple of weeks ago, taken in anticipation of the project

BBC Town Moor commission: An image from a couple of weeks ago, in anticipation of the project. This shot of a black-headed gull in fantastic morning light was taken from Cow Hill on the Town Moor, looking across to the town centre. Newcastle United’s St. James’ Park football ground (right hand side) is sited on the Moor itself

It’s been a while since I last blogged: I’ve been rather busy. Firstly, I’ve gone back to running the family business – Multichem in Hexham – after a break of eight years. But I’m still doing my professional photography too. All designed to keep me off the streets and out of trouble, no doubt! I’ve got a few irons in the fire that I hope I can tell you about soon, but one has definitely come to fruition just now.

I’m delighted to announce that the BBC has commissioned me to take photographs for a project called The Secret Life of the Town Moor. I’m very excited about this as I’ve teamed up with two very special people: firstly world-renowned sound recordist, Chris Watson (of BBC Blue Planet fame) and secondly, photographer Jacky Longstaff, who teaches the foundation degree in Commercial Photography at Newcastle College.

Jacky already has some fantastic photos of the Moor that she took for her book “Room:”.

Chris and I will be photographing / recording new material over the next 12 months (starting in March) for the project to show the many faces and hidden features – both past and present – that make this open space both unique and intriguing.

It’ll be a very diverse range of subjects, from what we believe is the largest urban skylark population, to the Hoppings fair, with dung beetles, circus performers and the Park Run all fair game. There are so many facets to this amazing piece of protected land that I can hardly begin to list them. Did you know for example that on a clear day you can see The Cheviot from the top of Cow Hill? Or that Cow Hill itself is the spoil heap from the construction of Newcastle’s Central Motorway and was originally supposed to be a practise ski slope?

I hope you’ll join me as we record the changing face of the the Town Moor across the seasons, releasing an image and radio broadcast a month, culminating in an installation and gallery. BBC Online are hosting the project and various locations around the north east have been mentioned as possible gallery locations.

Exciting times indeed.

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2 Comments

  1. Newcastle Libraries 2015-05-26 at 9:50 am - Reply

    This looks like a really interesting project. I’m sure that Chris Watson will make the place seem alive with sound. Currently, the moor is full of the beautiful and rare sound of Skylark.

    We published a book last year on the history of the Town Moor, which is still available from City Library and

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/The-Town-Moor-Newcastles-Green-Heart-by-Ken-Smith-Tom-Yellowley-Brand-New-/321765276447?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item4aeab47b1f

  2. […] a day in the seemingly endless winter gloom. I’m taking photos of all sorts of things for the BBC project, from the cows and the Hoppings fair to the runners and the wildlife. Yesterday’s trip […]

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