People from across the UK are invited to share their stories about their relationship with nature and the landscape as part of Green Space Stories. Bringing together thousands of stories in a searchable online archive, Green Space Stories will create a snapshot of our connection with nature in 2022, and a powerful source of knowledge for researchers, policy makers, artists and educators.
This unique citizen science project is part of Green Space Dark Skies, one of ten UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK projects taking place in 2022. Green Space Stories is a partnership between Walk the Plank, National Parks UK and the University of Salford.
The public are invited to share their anonymous stories about their experiences in nature and the landscape: whether hills or mountains, lakes or beaches, woodlands or local parks. Stories can be told through writing, photos or recordings at https://greenspacedarkskies.uk/green-space-stories.
John Packman, CEO of the Broads Authority and lead CEO for National Parks UK Communications, said: “Ninety years ago, the Kinder Scout trespass sparked a national conversation about our relationship to landscape in the UK, and our allied rights and responsibilities. The response to the COVID pandemic and lockdown, the causes of and need to address the climate emergency, and the evident requirement to restore the quality of nature and biodiversity, show that this conversation is just as alive and relevant – even vital – in the UK today. Green Space Stories is our attempt to make a space for that conversation in 2022 so that we can listen, learn, change and benefit, based on an open, safe dialogue inspired by our precious, nurturing landscapes.”
The archive of stories is available for anyone to view through a searchable, easy to use dashboard and will form a treasure trove of knowledge about the public’s relationship to nature in 2022. Green Space Stories might be used by artists to inspire songs, poems, artworks, films or books. It might be used by government organisations or local councils to inform and shape policies. It might be used by researchers looking for information about how certain themes emerge in our relationship with the landscape. Educators or community groups might use it to find stories from people of certain ages, or in a specific area of the country. Individuals will be able to search for stories shared by people like them, or who differ from them.
Liz Pugh, Country Producer Wales, Green Space Dark Skies and co-founder, Walk the Plank said: “Whether you love the countryside or you feel you are not welcome there, we want to hear your stories. Storytelling can help us to learn about our identities and culture, as well as explore others. It might be a memory or a poignant story, joyful or painful, short or long, a picture, recording or words, it matters, and we’d like you to share it with us.”
There is no story too short to tell and no experience that we cannot learn from. Green Space Stories is just as interested in hearing about daily dog walks, as in hearing stories about bigger adventures in the natural landscape. Up to 20,000 people will be participating as Lumenators in Green Space Dark Skies this summer, carrying lights to create artworks at dusk in National Parks and AONBs. They will all be invited to share their stories. These will be kept on the National Parks website for five years after the end of Green Space Dark Skies as a resource for everyone.
Catrina Page, University Liaison Manager, Green Space Dark Skies said: “Storytelling is a powerful way of communicating our hopes, our dreams, and our fears. People have been using stories for thousands of years and we use them to shape our understanding, to communicate how we feel and think, and we use them to make sense of the world around us.”
For further information and images
National Parks UK, Kate Measures | firstname.lastname@example.org | 07966 487733
Green Space Dark Skies, please contact Helen Palmer | Press & Comms Lead | email@example.com | 0161 736 8964 x303 | 07957 544290
For UNBOXED, please contact Jeanette.firstname.lastname@example.org | 07729 930 812
Images are available here