Saturday 22nd May 2021 to
Friday 31st December 2021
Lore of the Wild is a downloadable audio storywalk and map which will guide you on a transformative journey around Lesnes Abbey Wood in South East London. FREE.
Co-commissioned by Metal and London Borough of Bexley for Estuary 2021, Lore of the Wild will be available to download via smartphone from 22 May 2021. During the festival (22 May – 13 June 2021) it will also be able to be enjoyed via specially commissioned handset so you can leave your phone at home.
How it will work: You come prepared; with a pair of headphones, a fully charged smartphone and clothes suited to the weather, with practical pockets. You arrive at Lesnes Lodge and pick up a beautifully illustrated map from the Chestnut Kiosk, maybe pop to the loo, and then you’re ready. You set out to begin a transformative journey into the woods, to discover the Lore of the Wild (and to rediscover your very own wildness). X marks the spot: The beginning; a well for welcome, wishes and wonders and the point at which you slip on your headphones, twitch your tail and follow the link on the map. You hear a voice gently inviting you to take a deep breath and then to listen; slowly the natural sounds begin to mingle with recorded sounds and the voice guides you to begin your journey.
What you might experience: Lore of the Wild is a “storywalk” in which you will hear tall tales and true stories; songs and sounds from the human and non-human inhabitants of Lesnes; as you walk through this ancient woodland. The many experts including people, birds, squirrels, insects, streams and the wind itself will weave together a tapestry of tales which connects the river and the woods to the whole world and beyond. As you journey the route you will be invited to connect with, observe and interact with the environment. Look out for the faces in the trees, make a decision at the crossroads, experience the oak tree dance, share wisdom with the Green Man and feel a part of the ancient past and the infinite future. Is it for me? Lore of the Wild will be a two hour experience (approximately) that can be enjoyed solo or with friends (following current government guidelines). Please be warned, there are steep inclines, muddy steps, and some tricky terrain. Unfortunately this walking route is not accessible for wheelchair users, but you can download the stories to enjoy in another environment, or from home, by visiting the Lesnes Abbey Woods website.
All participants will be encouraged to send a postcard to someone they know, to share their experience and pass some of the stories on. Guided Walks Creators Bernadette Russell and Sophie Austin will be leading free guided walks during Estuary 2021 festival (advance booking required, registration will open in May), which will culminate in a live experience deep in the heart of the woodland. The audio work will exist as a long-term feature of the woods after the festival has finished.
Lore of the Wild is created by Bernadette Russell and Sophie Austin
Sound Design by Hannah Marshall
Illustration and Graphic Design by Melanie Smith