You are invited to an exciting Art Trail at the Fenn’s and Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses National Nature Reserve which explores this special landscape and its history.
The Art Trail launches on 3rd July 2021 and will continue through Summer and to the end of October. Whilst walking through this wonderful place, you can see sculptures and listen to wetland soundscapes featuring history, recordings of wildlife, water and trees, poetry and local memories of life on and around the peatbog.
Artists Andrew Howe (UK) and Kim V. Goldsmith (AUS) connect two internationally significant wetlands by bringing sounds from the Macquarie Marshes, New South Wales, Australia into the Fenn’s and Whixall Mosses.
Artists/sculptors Elizabeth Turner and Keith Ashford have created a series of waymarking sculptures which look at wood and metal work measuring tools and their connection with the Mosses landscape. Click here for more information about the artists and their sculpture trail.
Where to find the Art Trail:
The Art Trail starts from the Morris Bridge car park at Whixall Moss (SH ) and links with part of the Fenn’s and Whixall Mosses History Trail. It can also be accessed from the Manor House NNR Base car park (SH 505366, SY13 2PD), the Shed Yard car park (SH 50353681, SY13 2PD) and Roundthorn Bridge car park (SH ).
The trail is approximately 3 miles long and will take about 2 hours to walk. The paths are well marked, level and easy to walk but often wet and boggy so wear wellingtons or sturdy footwear.
How to access the Sounds
The immersive soundscapes in the Art Trail are best experienced by walking in the landscape and listening with headphones via smartphone using the Echoes app which you can download here:
With the app and your location enabled, you will be able to find the Fenn’s and Whixall Sound Trail using the search facility or follow this link. It is recommended to download the walk before you visit so that you can stream the walk as an offline map, since mobile phone signal can be unreliable for some phone operators at the Mosses.
The sound trail is designed as an immersive experience so that the sounds are triggered as you reach locations along the trail. You will see your own location as you walk and the location of the sound zones on the map in the Echoes app. The soundscapes are arranged into the elemental categories of earth, water, fire and air.
The zones are arranged so that the soundscape will play out as you walk through. However, you may need to pause occasionally to allow a soundscape to finish before proceeding into the following zone, otherwise the next sound may start. Alternatively, you can pause sounds if you only want to walk part of the route.
The soundscapes and accompanying sculptures are part of the Mosses and Marshes art project by Andrew Howe and Kim V. Goldsmith, working in partnership with Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Natural England, supported by National Lottery funding from Arts Council England.
For further information, see http://www.ofthemosses.com
Soundscapes edited by Andrew Howe and/or Kim V. Goldsmith as indicated in the Echoes details.
Poetry contributions written and performed by Gladys Mary Coles, Emily Meredith (www.emilymeredith.net) and Gertie Bielstein.
Many thanks to:
Natural England and Shropshire Wildlife Trust for their assistance in developing this Art Trail;
Stephen Barlow for ecological advice and contributing some of the bird recordings;
Barbara Cloreley, Bill Allmark and Reg Meredith for sharing their memories of peat cutting and life on and around the Mosses.
The natural environment can be hazardous. Please:
- Keep to the way-marked routes. There are many deep, flooded and partly-vegetated ditches and areas of soft peat.
- Do not smoke on the Mosses at any time of the year. Even small fire can cause extensive damage.
- Watch out for adders. If bitten keep calm and seek medical attention.
- Do not collect plants or animals.
- Keep dogs on a lead at all times.
- Watch out for metalwork, projecting roots and branches, tree stumps, holes and tussocks.
For more detailed maps and information about other walking trails or events visit: