Footprints

Pommy Harmar

This podcast is designed to inspire you to get out and explore the beautiful natural landscape surrounding the city of Bath, with its hills and valleys, grasslands and woodlands. Season 1 brought a monthly flavour of the September walking festival through interviews with special guests, a recorded local walk and a 'top-tip' section with festival organiser Lucy Bartlett. Season 2 delves deep into the rich diversity of the Bathscape, its culture, heritage, landscape and people. Footprints was nominated for two ARIAS in 2023 in the Grassroots Show and Best Local Show categories!! Hosted by walking and podcasting enthusiast Pommy Harmar. Get in touch with us through Facebook or Twitter or visit our website: www.bathscape.co.uk read less
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Episodes

Birding in Bath
05-05-2024
Birding in Bath
This episode is published on International Dawn Chorus Day which takes place on the first Sunday of May every year and this year it’s Sunday May 5th. It  is a worldwide celebration of nature's greatest symphony and in this show we want to celebrate birds in general, the birds of Bath and their incredible songs.  One of the main reasons that birds like to sing at dawn is that it’s quieter then,  the air is usually very still and birdsong has been shown to carry 20 times further at dawn. Remember you don't have to head out to a nature reserve, you can always just open your window - and listen.The episode starts off very early one morning just behind Sydney gardens with expert bird listener Lucy Starling who was keen to find out whether a pair of sedge warblers had returned to nest in Bathampton meadows.Ed Drewitt is a local naturalist, author, tour leader, birder, photographer, public speaker, bird ringer, zoologist, feather expert and he’s currently studying for a PhD based on researching Peregrines for the last 24 years. He talks about what the dawn chorus means to him and describes the life of a peregrine falcon and the Peregrine Project in Bath.The episode finishes with a walk organised by the Cotswolds Wardens with expert birder Marika Kovacs.CreditsMusic: AudionautixDawn Chorus audio kindly recorded by Ed DrewittProduced by Pommy HarmarLinksRSPB - dawn chorus - www.rspb.org.uk/whats-happening/news/the-dawn-chorus-all-you-need-to-know-about-natures-big-showBath Peregrine Project nest site webcam - www.hawkandowltrust.org/live-cameras/bath-peregrinesCotswold Warden Walks - www.cotswolds-nl.org.uk/visiting-and-exploring/guided-walksEd Drewitt - www.eddrewitt.co.ukBath Natural History Society - www.bathnats.org.ukBathscape - www.bathscape.co.uk
Highlights of 2023
02-01-2024
Highlights of 2023
Happy New Year and welcome back to Footprints!In this our first episode of 2024, we look back at our highlights from 2023. More than 40 people took part in the shows last year and a huge thanks must go to them for making the episodes so fascinating and varied to listen to. They and the organisations they represent are at the very heart of the Bathscape and we will hear from many more in 2024.ClipsEp 13 February - Living Working Bath: Mark Batterham shows us around the Moorlands Estate, the first council estate planned after the second world war and opened by Nye Bevin.Ep 14 March - Art in the Landscape: Marian Hill talks about her exquisitely intricate and accurate identification charts of bugs, beetles and butterflies, using collage.Ep 15 April - Wellbeing in Nature: Lucy Bartlett leads a walk for students as part of Be Well week and three students talk about why being outdoors helps their mental health.Ep 16 May - The Call of the Wild: One of the wildlife enthusiasts featured in the episode Catherine Turner talks about her passion for spiders and has me peering deep into the long grass .Ep 17 June - The Love of Trees: Joe McSorley, lead ranger for the National Trust shows us around Prior Park Gardens and tells us why the gardens were created and what the trees were used for.Ep 18 July - Haile Selassie in Bath: Ras Benji allows us to tag along on a tour of Fairfield House where Emperor Haili Selassie lived during his time in exile during WW2.Ep 18 July - Haile Selassie in Bath: Pauline Swaby-Wallace shows around the Windrush Centre and describes what it was like to come to Britain at that time.Ep 19 August - What did the Romans ever do for Bath?: Combe Down resident Helen talks about the time she found a skeleton of a roman citizen buried in her garden wall!Ep 20 September - Farming in Bath: Bob Honey has a pedigree herd of Herefords, but he also has a cider apple orchard. This is a clip of him describing the year in the life of an apple. You will hear glorious names of apple varieties such as Slack-ma-Girdle!Ep 21 October - Radical Bath: In this clip, Professor emerita June Hannam talks about why Bath was important to the Suffragettes and tree planting at Eagle House.Ep 21 October - Radical Bath: the episode brings us right into the present with Kidical Mass campaigners talking about their mission to create safer streets for children to cycle in.Ep 22 November - Bath at Night: We visit the West of England Falconry Centre in Newton St Loe and hear about Bella the rock owl during one of their flying displays.Ep 23 December - Three Grand Schemes: This episodes hears about Bath Preservation Trust's renovations to Beckford's Tower, one of the National Trust's Green Corridor schemes at Bathampton Meadows and the recently-opened Cleveland Pools. In this clip three inspiring women talk about their experience of swimming in temperatures of around 10 degrees!Our thanks to all our contributors throughout 2023Stuart Burroughs, director, Museum of Bath at WorkDiana Ahmed, Twerton artistMark Batterham, local historianJessica Palmer, Bath artistPerry Harris, Bath artist, watercolourist and cartoonistMarian Hill, Bath illustratorChris Pound, architect, writer and World Heritage expertGeorge Cook, project officer, Avon Wildlife TrustMike WIlliams, Bath naturalist, specialist in beetlesCatherine Turner, Bath naturalist, specialist in spidersAlan Rayner, Bath naturalist, specialist in mosses, lichens and liverwortsHelen Hobbs, organiser, Chalcombe Toad PatrolKaren...
Three Grand Schemes!
01-12-2023
Three Grand Schemes!
This month we celebrate three grand projects happening in Bath - Cleveland Pools, Beckford's Tower and Bathampton Meadows.Cleveland Pools - back in 1801 a new bylaw was passed - the Bathwick Water Act. It prohibited nude bathing in the river Avon and so was born Cleveland pools because the swimmers had nowhere to swim.Cleveland Pools is only a short walk the other side of Sydney Gardens and has recently reopened to the pubic following years of planning and designing, lottery applications and of course the building works. Now, with its highly modern heat pump allowing it to be heated during the summer, it has already attracted Bath’s keen cold water swimmers. Its manager Sam Grief and some hardy swimmers bring it to life.Beckford’s Tower stands tall on the top of Lansdown, visible for miles around. It’s closed at the moment, shrouded in scaffolding and plastic while all kinds of major renovation works are carried out. It was built for William Beckford, a writer, collector and slave owner and Dr Amy Frost from the Bath Preservation Trust tells us about its complex history.We finish the episode at Bathampton Meadows which is a new acquisition for the National Trust. It is one of their 20 green corridors sitting just below Little Solsbury Hill by the river Avon.  Joanna Rolfe from the National Trust tells us how it came about and what plans they have for the site.CreditsMusic: AudionautixProduced by Pommy HarmarLinksBathampton Meadows, National TrustBath Preservation TrustCleveland Pools
Bath at Night
07-11-2023
Bath at Night
The autumn has arrived and it’s that time of year to hunker down and stay warm. It's the perfect season to explore the nighttime in and around Bath. In this episode we find out about the night sky and visit the Herschel museum where Uranus was discovered back in the 18th century. We’ll hear about the owls in Newton St Loe, delve into the reasons why some animals are nocturnal and our very own batman Dan Merrett will take us on a bat walk around Combe Down.In this episode we start by meeting the owls at the West of England Falconry Centre in Newton St Loe. Naomi Johns, centre manager tells us all about their owls. Their events start again in early march.  In our Expert Eye section, we find out about the Herschel family. William Herschel was born in Hannover in 1738 and came to Britain as a refugee fleeing the French when he was just 18. He was an accomplished musician and came to Bath to take up the post of organist at the very fashionable Octagon chapel in Bath. The manager of the Herschel museum in Bath Joe Middleton tells us how he came to make the transition to one of the most famous astronomers of his day.We finish with a bat walk with our very own batman - Bathscape’s Manager Dan Merrett and meet at least three species! CreditsMusic: Night Music by Kevin MacLeod (YouTube Audio Library)Produced by Pommy HarmarLinksWest of England Falconry Centre - www.westofenglandfalconry.org.ukHerschel Museum - www.herschelmuseum.org.ukBathscape - www.bathscape.co.uk
The Call of the Wild
05-05-2023
The Call of the Wild
This month we celebrate wildlife enthuiasts. It’s springtime and we thought we’d bring the outside in and isten to the call of the wild.We start the show at Bath city Farm and meet Ribin the Robin. Naturalist Mike WIlliams tells us his story. Staying at Bath City Farm, Bathscape's Lucy Bartlett surveys newts and we hear how the newt population is doing in the farm's ponds. Catherine Turner takes us on a walk towards Englishcombe and hunts for for spiders.Alan Rayner is a specialist in mosses, lichens and liverworts of which there are over 1000 species in the UK and more than 100 in Smallcombe cemetery where we find him. Helen Hobbs is the patrol manager for the Chalcombe toad patrol. For 6 weeks of the year toads migrate across Chalcombe Road where, every evening, 40 volunteers take it in turn to help them keep safe. Finally we hear from one of Bath and North East Somerset Council’s ecologists Karen Renshaw. We find out about Adders Tongue ferns and what the Council is doing to improve biodiversity in the city.ResourcesNewtsHow to identify newtsAmphibian and Reptile Conservation - newtsSpidersNatural History Museum - spidersBritain's Spiders: A field guide, Lawrence Bee, Geoff Oxford and Helen Smith, WILDGuidesMosses, Lichens and LiverwortsA Guide to Finding Mosses In Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, Peter Creed and Tom Haynes. Pisces PublicationsToadsFroglife Toad Patrols - search for Chalcombe toad patrolBiodiversityBath and North East Somerset Council: Ecology and BiodiversityCreditsMusic: AudionautixPhotography: Mike WilliamsProduced by Pommy HarmarLinkswww.bathscape.co.ukwww.naturalbristol.wordpress.com
Art in the Landscape
01-03-2023
Art in the Landscape
This month we are serving up a fabulous trio of local Bath artists who, using a variety of materials and techniques, are united in their love of landscape and the creatures and plants that make it their home.Bathscape Manager Dan Merrett starts us off in the Victoria Art Gallery with a history tour of artists who have painted the Bath landscape since 1730. Jessica Palmer shows us round her first ever solo exhibition in the Victoria Art Gallery - free to visit until 11th April 2023. Jessica's clients include Disney Pixar and English Heritage. In her exhibition entitled Wetland Spring, she uses watercolour and paper cutting to bring the wetlands to life and show us the many varied creatures that live within this unique and important habitat.Perry Harris is a cartoonist and landscape artist using paint and digital colour to bring Bath to life. He loves to paint his favourite landscapes including Primrose Hill, The Cotswold Way and Smallcombe Vale. He persuades me to climb up to the top of the tower of the Royal High School where he works to be interviewed! Our final artist is Marian Hill who is an illustrator. She produces beautiful posters of bugs and butterflies, minibeasts and pollinators. With the expert help of local entomologist Mike Williams, she works painstakingly to create accurate as well as stunning work using collage. She has worked closely with Bathscape and local schools. You can see contemporary artists' works around trees and landscape this summer at the Forest of Imagination which will run from the 14th June 2023 at the Assembly Rooms in Bath.Thanks go to The National Lottery Heritage Fund and players of the National Lottery who fund the work of Bathscape.LinksJessica Palmer: www.jessicapalmerart.comTwitter: @JessCutitoutPerry Harris: www.bath.co.uk/spotlight/perry-harris-artist-illustratorTwitter: @UhperryMarian Hill: www.marianhill.co.ukTwitter: @hill_marianVictoria Art Gallery, Bridge Street, Bath BA2 4ATwww.bathscape.co.ukwww.naturalbristol.wordpress.comCreditsMusic: AudionautixProduced by: Pommy Harmar
Living Working Bath
03-02-2023
Living Working Bath
In this episode we delve into Bath’s social history exploring the world of work and housing from the industrial revolution right up to the present day.We set the scene with Stuart Burroughs - Stuart has been the Director of the Museum of Bath at Work for the last 30 years. In a nutshell the museum celebrates the city’s commercial development since Roman times. The photographic exhibition along with some amazing reconstructed workplaces and workshops are all beautifully exhibited at the museum which opens again at weekends from 18th February 2023.Twerton artist Diana Ahmed shows me around Twerton high street and talks about the public art project she carried out with local schools to improve her neighbourhood.In our final feature we explore a housing estate on the south side of the city just above Twerton. Mark Batterham takes us on a walking history tour of the post-war Moorlands estate.  He co-created this walk with fellow walk leader and co-researcher Dave Pearce. The design of the Moorlands estate has been praised by architects and planners for its emphasis on space and light. The Bath Chronicle excitedly reported how 'the living rooms of the houses will face south and have a sun terrace outside'. To put it in context, when this estate was built, four out of ten British households had no fixed bath, well over a third had outside toilets and under half had a hot water tap.  CreditsMusic: AudionautixProduced by Pommy HarmarPhoto credit: Moorlands estate, Mark BatterhamLinkswww.bath-at-work.org.ukdiana@peoplercommunity www.naturalbristol.wordpress.comWith thanks to the National Heritage Lottery for funding the podcast.
A look back at the highlights of 2022
02-01-2023
A look back at the highlights of 2022
Happy New Year and welcome back to Footprints!In this our first episode of the year, we look back at our highlights from 2022. More than 40 people took part in the shows last year and a huge thanks must go to them for making the episodes so fascinating and varied to listen to. They and the organisations they represent are at the very heart of the Bathscape and we will hear from many more in 2023.ClipsEp 1 February - Views of Bath: Andy Dinham whose family farmed Kelston Round Hill for decades. Ep 2 March - Death in Paradise: John Payne, local historian whose ancestors are buried in the workhouse burial ground near Wellsway.Ep 2 March - Death in Paradise: Dr Molly Conisbee on the history of the workhouse.Ep 3 April - One farm through one century: Rachel De Fossard talking about her father's dairy herd and Foot and Mouth.Ep 4 May - A path through the trees: Oliver Langdon from Kilter Theatre Company in the character of January, taking us through the wassailing ceremony at Bath City Farm.Ep 5 June - Paddling the canals of Bath: Patrick Moss (Chair) and Derrick Hunt (Committee Member) from the Somersetshire Coal Canal Society.Ep 6 July - Spotting beavers on the river Avon: Bevis Watts, CEO Triodos Bank paddles me up and down beaver alley - do we spot a beaver?Ep 7 August - Meadows, seeds and yellow rattle: Paul Pearce Bath Parks Dept talking about the state of wildlife and the importance of meadows.Ep 8 September - Walking Festival magic: Stephen Bird, former Head of Heritage Services Bath, on his passion for walking.Ep 9 October - Community Growers: Claire Loader, co-founder of Bloomin' Whiteway and Rachel Spence, co-founder of the Peace Path in Whiteway.Ep 10 November - The wonders of Bath stone: Miranda Litchfield, CEO Museum of Bath Stone showing me around the museum.Ep 11 December - Tourism in Bath, past and present: Kirsten Elliot, local historian guiding me through a day in the life of a Georgian visitor to Bath.Contributors throughout 2022Di Sheppard, Landscape Architect, Bath and North East Somerset Council Andy Dinham, retired farmer, Kelston Round HillDick Bateman, local historian, Kelston Round Hill Billie Brocklehurst, Brocks Outdoor Adventures Barry Cox, Cotswold Warden Nicole Daw, Cotswolds National LandscapeRob Kendall, Cotswold Warden & Little Solsbury Commoner John Bartram, Cotswold Warden & Chair of the Cotswold Way Association Richard White, lecturer Bath Spa University, creator ‘Walking the Names’ project Bathscape volunteersJohn Payne, local historian and writer Dr Molly Conisbee, Researcher, University of BristolMarianne Brunt, granddaughter of first owners of Manor Farm, Langridge Rachel de Fossard, daughter of family of farmers, Manor Farm, LangridgeDonald MacIntyre, current owner and farmer, Manor Farm, LangridgeJane Lipington, current owner and farmer, Manor Farm, LangridgeLaurie MacIntyre, daughter of current owner and farmer, Manor Farm, LangridgeFiona Bell, Tree trail enthusiast Joe Middleton, Woodland Trust site managerOliver Langdon, Kilter Theatre CompanyTom Sheppard, High Sheriff of Somerset Councillor June Player, Mayor of BathPatrick Foss (Chair) and Derrick Hunt (Committee member) Somersetshire Coal Canal SocietyJulian Stirling, Claverton Pumping StationBevis Watts, CEO Triodos BankAlison Peach, Bath resident and ottercam operatorAnna Baker, Director, Cleveland Pools ProjectAnita Breeze and Chris Kinchin-Smith, Directors of...
Community Growers
03-10-2022
Community Growers
This month’s episode discovers the community of growers and gardeners in and around Bath. In recent years there’s been a resurgence with more people coming together to grow and share food, care for the land they live near or on - maybe in an effort to help communities tackle some of the challenges we’re all facing. Hamish Evans, co-founder of Middle Ground Growers tells me about their market garden, Weston Spring Farm, nestling just below Kelston Roundhill in Weston. They deliver organic veg boxes to 120 local households by bike. Their farm goes beyond sustainabilty and operates as a regenerative, agri-ecological model including a nuttery, coppice, wildflower meadow, bee hives, bird boxes and of course the fruit and veg beds. Soil health is improving, insects and birds are increasing and the local community is benefiting. I meet with Emily Wright, Chair of Grow Batheaston who shows me around their Forest Garden. This is a small patch of land behind the Secret Garden in the heart of the village. A Forest Garden is a layered garden where everything has a benefit - whether it be edible, medicinal, or to our wellbeing. Everyone is welcome to join the growers club and the community planting club. There are also regular pop-up markets. Info can be found using the links below.Finally I spend a day around the peace path in the heart of the Whiteway estate. Claire Loder talks about the origins of Bloomin' Whiteway with its annual Front Gardens Festival; Lucy Bartlett takes a group of us bug hunting and community worker Rachel Spence talks about creating the peace path and the hope that this piece of land is bringing to the community.CreditsMusic: AudionautixProduced by Pommy HarmarLinkswww.bathscape.co.ukwww.middlegroundgrowers.comwww.facebook.com/MiddleGroundGrowers/www.growbatheaston.co.ukwww.facebook.com/Grow-Batheastonwww.bloomingwhiteway.comwww.facebook.com/bloomingwhitewaywww.naturalbristol.wordpress.com