Earthed Conversations – Fauna
Expert Speakers – Tony Smith and Tony Cotterell from Bristol Naturalists.
Our guests provided us with fascinating insights into the small worlds that go on around us all the time, ensuring the continued survival of other species, various flora and ultimately all life on the planet.
David and Mick were joined by the naturalists in delivering a fantastic workshop to secondary school children on the site where they discovered a number of interesting bugs, plants and insects. They then had a hand at creating sculptures of different animals in the exhibition’s mud box as well as writing a number of thoughts and facts about Ashton Meadows’ fauna for a display in the exhibition.
Earthed Conversations – The River’s Role
Expert Speakers – Avon Crescent resident Anna Wilson and Bristol Lock Keeper John Rosenthal.
John enlightened us on what a huge engineering project the construction of the floating harbour was, talked us through his life on the river and as a lock keeper and explained how the waters around Bristol had changed over time. Anna described her experiences in the recent flooding and talked about her hopes for the future of the area. She also discussed her project ‘High Water Line’ with Invisible Dust.
Earth Graffiti: Practical river-inspired mud graffiti art workshop with Mick Petts.
River Writes: Practical river-inspired site responsive writing workshop with David Lane.
The Big Dig
We returned to the dig site and uncovered even more items from the site. This time we hit a layer of clay-like group and made some interesting discoveries.
At the end of the day we all sat down to enjoy Earthed Reflections where Mick Petts and David Lane selected the discoveries, questions, creations and quotations that inspired them most from the second day of the Earthed Weekender.
Earthed Conversations –
What Lies Beneath: Soil specialists, geologists and archaeologists in a conversation on all things earthy.
Expert speakers: Julie Dunne, PhD Student, Bristol University, Organic Geochemistry Unit
Wesley Dixon – Structural Soils, Graduate Geotechnical Engineer
In the morning Archeologist Julie Dunne explained how Ashton Meadows formed and how archeologists look for people as well as artefacts.
“Archeology aims to dig up people as well as artefacts” she told us, as well as asking “How do buried objects define our identities?”
One of the statements that many present picked up on was the declaration that “We shape landscape, landscape creates us”
She also reminded us of the time frames that archiologists have to deal with and that the human experience is but a blip on a much larged historical landscape, “the rock below Ashton Meadows formed in warm shallow seas 350 million years ago”.
Wesley Dixon, a Geotechnical engineer then explained complex sandstone formations and the importance of different processes in creating the different colours and textures in the earth around Ashton Meadows.
People were particularly taken with the idea of an Ooid, which are formed in some limestones called the ‘Oxwich formation’. It consists of a nucleus ‘rolled back and forth’ in be various processes.
He noted that Ashton Meadows only shows trace elements of human contamination. Most samples contain mainly natural elements and components.
He also noted that pictures of dinosaurs standing on grass are all wrong! There was no grass back in the day…
Earthed works: A practical site-inspired earth sculpture workshop with land artist Mick Petts.
Earthed writes: A practical site-specific writing workshop with writer David Lane.
The Big Dig
We rolled back the turf and dug down to reveal the hidden layers of earth and time beneath the surface of the meadows.
We were also joined by Ed Drewitt for a naturist and wildlife detective public walk.