Green Spaces Dark Skies – Walk the Plank
Three Cliffs Bay, Gower, Friday 13th May
After years of lock downs followed by an ongoing and sluggish return to normality, the Gower Ambassadors have been keen to encourage and facilitate events that get people out of the house and back into our beautiful environment. Stuart Gammon (aka SupDudeStu), a Gower Ambassador and celebrated local Stand Up Paddleboard instructor, was instrumental in assisting the organisation of this fantastic opportunity to work with outdoor arts experts Walk The Plank to be part of the Green Space Dark Skies (GSDS) project.
Green Space Dark Skies is an ambitious nationwide photography project run by Walk the Plank, involving 20,000 “Lumenator” volunteers in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Parks across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. The Lumenators carry low impact lights into lush surroundings to make patterns of light on a natural backdrop to be photographed and filmed from the ground and via drone. Public Access and Right of Way are key themes with the GSDS project being said to carry the tradition of the Mass Trespass of Kinder Scout being taken forward. The GSDS project is a celebration of protected landscapes that makes something beautiful that can be accessed online by those who are unable to visit in person due to physical impairment or any other reason. Credits go out to The Sand Artist for creating such amazing art and also.
Walk the Plank had already seen Stu’s paddleboarding activities online as well as in person and, being very interested to integrate what he does into their project, contacted Stu directly in February 2022. Gower was the first ever designated AONB in the UK and this made it an essential hit on the Walk the Plank hit list of places to run an Green Space Dark Skies event. Gower’s status along with the unique features of Three Cliffs Bay, having a golf course, including a castle, all being on private land with public access. Credit also to Ella who was a big part in helping with the Paddle event and was in the poem being played on the night.
Planning began in earnest regarding Three Cliffs Bay and how the Paddle Boarders, Lighting, Camera Crews and other logistical elements would fall into place. Stu was able to bring 40 paddleboarders to the event who were able to make beautiful pattern with their boards and lights on the sand while another group of Lumenators lit up Pennard Castle at the top of the overlooking hill.
Walk the Plank team members, lead by Georgina and Anharad, arrived in the area, using the Gower Heritage Centre as base of operations, for prep on Tuesday 10th joined by more team members as the big day approached. Health and Safety was paramount and pains were taking to ensure all measures were taken. The paddleboarders arrived at 6:30pm on Friday 13th to register their arrival and prepare their boards at the Gower Heritage Centre car park and the walking Lumenators met separately on Pennard Golf Course to make their way to the castle. The process of picking up the low impact lights and getting into position was lengthy but the results were spectacular.
After the photographers had taken all the shots they needed everyone involved came to the Gower Heritage Centre where entertainment had been organized through Richie Saunders, Gower Ambassador and Cider maker. The Shed Head Cider bar was open with local band Dusty Earth Band and local fire breather Dave Williams from Ddraig Tribe performing.
A fantastically successful Friday 13th
We look forward to following the continued success and progress of this project as it develops so please check their website (link below) for all updates
For further information on participating organizations please click the links below