March – June 2015

Routeways and Connections

Routeways and Connections engaged communities with the heritage of the Kingswear and Brixham Peninsula.

"When I encounter the sea I feel I am where I belong, tranquility, excitement, whatever the weather.  I miss it when I'm away even if visiting my grandchildren. I'm always pleased to be back by the sea - its an ever changing pictures.  The colours, the power, the feeling of wellbeing."

The Brixham and Kingswear Peninsula straddles several key organisational boundaries – with National Trust land, Torbay Council, South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust all providing a wide range of hugely rich historical and natural environments. The area has nationally important nature conservation sites with key colonies of Greater Horseshoe Bat and Guillemots as well as highly special Limestone areas that provide a vital habitat for wild flowers. Criss-crossing the land are flyways that provide feeding ground for the bats, as well as small permissive pathways, hidden heronries, rare flowers and a mixture of farmland producing everything from eggs to beef to barely. A rich military and maritime history dates back to Napoleonic Times at Berry Head with Battery Park near Brixham and Froward Point near Kingswear providing key outlooks during World War 2

This project focused on finding creative ways for participants to engage with this diverse and exceptional heritage. The main themes included exploration, observation, recording and mapping across the peninsula. It explored people’s stories about their relationship to the landscape of the peninsula in the past, present and future and to the human and non-human routes and pathways criss-crossing the area.

Discovery and observation visits to local areas were by the lead artist and local team and involved guided walks, music, food, celebration and contemplation. During these sessions participants recorded their thoughts, observations and inspiration from the site and shared stories of living in the area and how it had changed.

"I hope we can conserve the creatures of the sea, use it's energy to harness power to replace the use of fossil fuels. To provide food, livelihoods, pleasure for future generations"

The variety of data gathered cut through geographical/man-made boundaries, historical layers and the different web of human travel/needs and pressures that the area has faced both in the past and currently. Stories, images and data collected went towards a record of information on journeys and encounters through the peninsular. This rich narrative was then shared through a mixture of exhibits and performances towards the end of the project.

Routeways and Connections was a partnership project between Encounters, South Devon Area of Outstanding Beauty, Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, the National Trust, Lupton Trust, and local community organisations and was part of the multi-agency Green Infrastructure project taking place across Torbay. Encounters Associate, Shelley Castle was the lead artist on this project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Kingswear Parish Council and the South Devon AONB.

Routeways was proud to be part of the Creative Torbay Community.