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Let iFootpath guide you to some Inspiring Views

iFootpath is proud to be the walking guides partner for an exciting arts project in the Surrey Hills. The Inspiring Views project commissioned five sculptors and designers to create sculptural benches at viewpoints along the Greensand Way at Gibbet Hill, Reynards Hill, Holmbury Hill, Winterfold and Hascombe Hill. Find out more about these striking sculptures and the iFootpath walks that will guide you to them…

 

This summer you may have noticed some rather striking looking sculptures popping up along the Greensand Way. These distinct pieces of art are part of the Inspiring Views project delivered by Surrey Hills Arts. Funded through the Mittal Foundation, this project has worked with landowners to open up hidden views along the Greensand Way, improve access and commission artists to interpret the views through art, poetry and sound.

Director of Watts Gallery and Chairman of Surrey Hills Arts, Perdita Hunt comments;

'The opportunity to bring together art and landscape is powerful and potent. I hope the engagement of artists to create these commissions for all of us to enjoy in five of the most stunning viewpoints in Surrey will give many hours of pleasure and discussion. We are very grateful to the Mittal Foundation for making this possible.'

Four iFootpath walking guides have been published to lead walkers to the five sculptural benches and to help reveal more about each Inspiring View. By following the walking guide on the iFootpath App, you will easily find the benches, read about the sculptor’s perspective of the view and their inspiration behind the design and listen to sound files created by a poet and sound artist responding to that same view. You can see the walking guides through the Inspiring Views Featured Walks page.

Find out more about the artists involved...

xylemsmallAt Gibbet Hill sculptor Walter Bailey created ‘Xylem’ a bench carved out of oak which has taken inspiration from Walter’s microscopic studies of charcoal. Historically charcoal has great relevance to the Greensand Way as this material has supported individuals and industries enabling the shaping of copper, bronze, glass and iron through the centuries.

Walter comments; “It has been a joy to return to explore and be inspired once again by the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I was fascinated to discover that the tranquil Surrey Hills landscape harboured such a hive of industries, all reliant on the production of charcoal over many centuries.”

A striking piece sitting on top of Reynards Hill is ‘Contour’, made up of multiple layers of recycled material to achieve a wave like form. Sculptor Russell Jakubowski took his inspiration from the layers of sedimentation, contours of the land and the visible forms and cycles of nature.

conversesmallUpon visiting Holmbury Hill, furniture maker Matthew Burt found the view ‘a heart stopping, glad to be alive moment. It demands savouring, mulling over, contemplating and discussion. You are invited to do so from the sociable conversation bench that now accompanies that view.” ‘Converse’ is a series of beautifully crafted benches in an arrangement that allows for social conversation and picnics as well as facing out to the beautiful, lesser trodden spot at Holmbury Hill. This location is fully accessible and the bench arrangement is designed to allow for wheelchair access.

The proposals were not only for benches, at Winterfold, Giles Miller created ‘Perspectives’, a shelter nestled within the woods with a clear view towards the South Downs offering a space for focused contemplation. The Giles Miller team created a surface of wooden shingles engraved with words and messages from local people and visitors which encapsulate their thoughts and feelings of the area.

Giles comments “In creating such a progressive piece of sculptural architecture and placing it overlooking the beautiful vista at Winterfold, I have fulfilled a dream in marrying a sculptural piece of work within a beautiful context that has a place so close to my heart.”

Local sculptor Tom Nicholson Smith was inspired by greensand itself, looking at the microscopic particles noting their shapes and wide range of tones.  In ‘Grains’, he has created a grouped arrangement of carved oak forms that represent grains of sand up on the hill at Hascombe. He notes “A view of Southern England without evidence of human structures is rare but with this site I found one. I hope I have done it justice, and retained the natural feeling to this secret place.’  Like the other viewpoints, this sits away from the much trodden view from the hill fort.

The Inspiring Views project not only produced artworks but also poetry and sound pieces. Poet John Wedgwood Clarke came to stay close to the locations spending his time walking, researching and talking to people at the sites.  He captured their unique identities through words creating poems for each of the five inspiring views. 

John comments: “It’s been a pleasure to discover and explore a landscape that has so powerfully shaped, and been shaped by, human activity. The Surrey Hills are as full of voices as they are trees. Through this poem sequence, I’ve tried to recreate something of the atmosphere of each place, both in their familiarity and their haunting strangeness.”

Established musician, sound artist and composer Graham Dowdall spent time at each location taking field recordings and responding to the sites through sound.  He has aimed to create ‘sound pictures for each hill to represent and to reflect each landscape sonically. Each site has its own unique sound world and special atmosphere.’ His pieces can all be downloaded from the Surrey Hills website and will certainly encourage people to listen as well as look at these Inspiring Views.

Surrey Hills Arts is a partnership between Surrey Arts, Surrey County Council and the Surrey Hills. It aims to engage and inspire people with the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and its unique natural, cultural and industrial heritage through the arts.

For more information on Surrey Hills Arts and the Inspiring Views project visit www.inspiringviews.org

22 September 2016

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Inspiring Views in the Surrey Hills

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Introduction to iFootpath

iFootpath provides a mechanism to capture and share details of walks, but it is worth explaining the essential structure of a walk as they are stored in the iFootpath database. The basic concept is that a walk consists of any number of sections that are joined end to end. For each section we might want to describe views or other points of interest about that part of the walk.

The database that underpins iFootpath provides the mechanisms to store the structure and details of each walk, descriptions, photographs and mapping data for the overall walk and each section of it. It is not mandatory to enter information into every single field in the forms we provide, although some basic details are essential to ensure the walk database stays manageable and searcheable.

Each walk entered can be shared with all other iFootpath users, but before a walk (and its sections) are shared there are three stages it must go through. The first stage is as a "Draft". When a walk is in draft it is only visible and editable by you, the author of that walk. Whilst it is in draft form you can add sections, photographs, further description and refine it as you see fit. You can do as little or as much as you like. However, it is worth remembering that if someone (you) wants to print it off and take it as a walking guide, then it is worth taking the time to detail each section reasonably concisely. Long descriptions are generally distracting when walking and a short, concise version is usually much easier to use.

When you are happy with the walk description and its sections you can set the status to "Ready". This does not yet make it visible to everyone. It does, however, lock the editing (although you can change it back to draft and continue editing) and alerts the systems administrators that it requires reviewing prior to being "Published". When set to "Ready" the walk will be reviewed to check it contains the basic data needed and to ensure the content is clean. We do not allow content to include obscenities, swearing or other offensive language or pictures. This review does not check the walk for accuracy; whilst we would love to test each and every walk through walking we simply do not have the time. If we do find something wrong with the walk we will contact you and ask that it is fixed prior to marking it as "Published".

Once the walk is published it is now visible to any user of iFootpath and is therefore in the public domain given that anyone can register and access iFootpath. You are therefore responsible that any photographs used in your walk description are not infringing copyright. See our terms and conditions for further information on what we do and do not allow.

Published walks are available to all users of iFootpath and are listed in the walk browser to read or print and will be listed in the iPhone/iPod Touch application for download.

Walks in iFootpath

A walk in iFootpath is an introduction to the overall walk, identification of where it is and starts, some overview notes and general commentary.

Title (required)

A walk title should provide a brief indication of where or what the walk is. Walk titles do not have to be unique.

Description (required)

This provides a text area where you can describe the walk. Explain what you love about the walk, what makes it different and what people will see. In addition try to answer all the questions you might ask before going on a route. What sort of paths does the walk use? Any steep accents/descents? Are there any stiles? Are people likely to come across horse/cows/sheep?

County (required)

The county in which the walk starts is essential to help finding the walk in the database. Some walks may straddle more than one county - we suggest you select the county in which the walk starts or is mostly within.

Area (optional)

This field can be used, if you wish, to further identify where the walk is. This is particularly useful for large counties.

Walk Type (required)

To help quickly finding the right type of walk this provides a basic walk classification or type. Some walks may span two of these types - please use the type that fits the majority of the walk.

Length (required)

The length (in miles) of a walk is an approximation of the overall distance walked, not a measure of the distance "as the crow flies". iFootpath automatically completes this field based on the GPX file that has been uploaded.

Grade (required)

The grade of a walk is an indicator of how difficult it is to walk. This does not take into account the walk length but does suggest how challenging the walk will be. An easy walk, graded as 1 (and shown as 1 walking boot) indicates a walk that is essentially flat, has no sharp hills to climb, has no stiles or other obstacles, is easy to navigate (probably along a well worn path) and is suitable for most levels of fitness. Do be aware that the level of stamina required will vary and you should only walk within your limits - the indication of walk length will help with this. A difficult walk, graded as 5 (and represented by 5 boots) indicates a walk that is strenuous and involves steep ascents and/or descents. It may be technically challenging involving difficult terrain or obstacles.

Please note that the grading for walks is subjective and open to interpretation and should only be used as a guide when selecting a walk.

Map Ref / Start Point (optional)

The walk start point is an Ordnance Survey map reference to pinpoint the start point of the walk. This should be in the format:

AB 123 456

Further details of this system can be seen on the Ordnance Survey website.

Map Link (optional)

This optional field allows you to include a link to a web page containing a map showing the walk start. This is not the place to include any other links and the system will reject links to anything but Streetmap or Google Maps.

Start Point Co-ordinates (optional)

This pair of fields allows you to enter the longitude and latitude for the start point. iFootpath automatically completes this field based on the uploaded GPX file.

Key Image (required)

This is the main photograph used to illustrate the walk and can, if you wish, be the only photograph used of the walk. We recommend that you use a picture that characterises the walk, if possible, to show potential walkers what they might find or see. The picture must be in any of the main image formats (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG) and image files up to 2Mb in size are permitted. Once an image is uploaded it will be resized automatically and a smaller version saved that is optimised for viewing on both this website and iFootpath Mobile.

There are many image editing and manipulation applications available, so many that we cannot make particular recommendations although almost all are excellent. Our preferred way of saving images for iFootpath is to save or export them at a maximum size of 1024x1024 pixels as a JPEG file. This creates a file that is well under 2Mb in size, contains plenty of detail and displays well in almost any browser. Please be sure that you own the copyright to any images uploaded - you must have taken them yourself or have explicit permission. If you are concerned about image theft then we also suggest you include a small watermark in any corner of the image, but please remember that large watermarks that hide the image will not be popular with viewers!

Pdf file

Pdf file for walk

Icon (recommended)

The icon is a small image, 60 pixels square, used to provide a label for the walk when displayed in lists or in iFootpath Mobile. It is recommended that a small, square image for such use is created and uploaded. This should be in JPEG, GIF, BMP or PNG format and less than 100Kb in size. If you do not provide an icon the walk will be automatically given a generic system icon. If you do upload a photograph for the walk icon its size will be checked by the system and it will automatically be resized to 60 pixels square. However, please also note that if the image is not square in format it may be cropped and you will not get the result you might have expected. Just thought you should know!

Getting There (required)

This provides a text area to explain how to get to the start of the walk. It is good to include a post code.

Preview

This function allows you to see how your published walk would look, before you submit as 'Ready' for review.

Status

When a walk is created and saved in iFootpath its status is automatically set to 'Draft'. This implies that you are still working on it and may want to come back later to add walk sections, images or other information. When you are ready for the walk to be shared with other iFootpath registered users then the status should be changed to 'Ready'. This will automatically notify the system that you want to share the walk. The system will check to ensure you have completed the required information and alert a reviewer. The reviewer will read through to check the content is clean and consistent with our terms of use. This does not check the accuracy of the walk details or any other information. If there are issues with the contents you will be contacted by email. The walk status will also be reset to 'Draft' in this case. More likely, however, that everything is fine in which case its status will be set to 'Published' at which point it becomes available for viewing and downloading by any registered user of iFootpath. This includes download to iFootpath Mobile.

Filters

Filters allow you to narrow down your search for walks of interest. By County restricts the list of walks to those in the selected County. The Filters links at the top of the list page allow you to jump quickly to the filters or to clear them.

Keyword Search

The Keyword search facility will search through the walk descriptions and notes to find words or phrases you specify.

My GPX Files

This page gives you the list of GPX files that you have uploaded from iFootpath mobile (or from other sources). You are able to view, edit, delete or download these files. Once you are happy with your GPX file you can 'convert to walk' to create a draft walk based on this data. This walk will appear under 'Manage My Walks'.

Manage My Walks

The list of walks presented are those you have written and entered into iFootpath. From here you can filter the list if you have lots to narrow down your search, list all or just those with a particular status. If you select a 'Published' or 'Ready' walk you will see a read-only version of your walk, although if 'Ready' you can reset status to 'Draft' again for further editing.

Walk Sections in iFootpath

Each walk section represents a particular piece of a walking route. The start and end of each section are defined by waypoints. Each section joins onto the next to form the complete walk. There is no limit to the number of sections a walk can have, but on a long walk we recommend breaking the route down into manageable pieces that are delineated by particular landmarks, turnings or changes in obvious route. Each section has its own photograph and descriptive text which should hold a photograph that illustrates the section and any instructions or other notes you want to add that may be of use in helping navigation or pointing things out.

Section Title (required)

The section title is used to provide a short name for the section. It is useful in section titles to provide an indication of the start and end, so using names of landmarks, roads, etc is a useful aid. Sections will be named automatically as the name of the waypoint at the end of that section. It is recommended that you rename the sections as something more useful to walkers.

Section Description (required)

This field is used to provide as much information as you wish about the walk section. This should include notes on navigation, even if obvious, and any further information you care to share about views, historical notes, things to look for, etc.

Key Image (recommended)

A picture can save many words and will often be very useful in helping to navigate or spot things along the route. The picture must be in any of the main image formats (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG) and image files up to 2Mb in size are permitted. Once an image is uploaded it will be resized automatically and a smaller version saved that is optimised for viewing on both this website and iFootpath Mobile.

Our preferred way of saving images for iFootpath is to save or export them at a maximum size of 1024x1024 pixels as a JPEG file. Please be sure that you own the copyright to any images uploaded - you must have taken them yourself or have explicit permission.

Map Ref (optional)

This allows the OS Map reference for the start and end of the section to be entered. These should be in the format:

AB 123 456

Further details of this system can be seen on the Ordnance Survey website.

Start/End Point (optional)

This provides the facility to capture the co-ordinates for the start and end points of the walk section. iFootpath will automatically complete this field based on the GPX file used to create the walk.

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