A core aim of our residency was to engage with local experts and others concerned with the environment around Allenheads, inviting them to share their experience and knowledge.
While preparing our first public event, Full Moon at the Cosmic Pond, we were fortunate to catch Fiona Knox from the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership as she delivered some bat detectors for us to use. She told us about the AONB Partnership’s important role in working with local landowners and residents to help protect and improve sensitive habitats in the area. Fiona reminded us of the importance of the arts in engaging public awareness, through projects such as Cold-blooded and Spineless which raises awareness of the vital importance of insect life in local ecosystems.
Later, at our launch event, we met Leonore Frear, Environment & Business Development Manager for the Environment Agency in Newcastle. She was out scanning the skies above the pond for bats feeding on insects, using the detectors Fiona had brought us earlier. She told us about her fascination with underwater life – and her claim to freshwater ecology fame: