After four months of walking, it was a massive relief and joy to complete the walk! 🙂 You can see a video here and article that the local paper made.
THANK YOU so much to all the people who walked on the Buzz Tour, to all those who shared their stories with us, to all those who donated and all those who fed and sheltered us. Without all those pieces of kindness and support it would have literally been impossible. There is no way we could have done a journey like this without the daily grace, charity and kindness of others. You have all created something which exceeded my expectations in every way. I am so grateful and lucky to have met you all.
This weekend’s climate march in London drew people from lots of different parts of the Buzz Tour, it was so wonderful to be reunited. We’d love to see everyone again! So we’re going to throw a Pollination Party in Oxford on the 25th of October! We’ll be emailing everyone invites over the next couple of days so if you don’t hear from us please drop us an email – we haven’t forgotten you, it’s just hard to gather all the emails together.
We’ve started work on a book about all the amazing things from the Buzz Tour. If you walked along and would like to write about your experience please drop us an email – we didn’t get everyone’s email at the time. As we finish a draft chapter it’ll be posted online so that everyone can comment and help us make it fantastic. We hope to have the book finished by spring!
During the walk we took ten hours of great interviews and footage that we’d love to make in to a documentary. If you’d like to be involved get in touch!
I’ve saved this interview until last in order to annonimise it, and for the same reason there is no video or context to how I met this woman. Last but certainly not least I’d like to tell you the story of, we’ll call her, Anna, and her work as a ghost in the machine.
Some years ago Anna found herself working for an unethical corporation, due to her skill set and the lack of available work. She became increasingly appalled at the activities of this corporation but rather than quit, or accept her own complicity in their crimes against the environment, she resolved to find ways to undermine them. Over the course of a couple of years she was able to cost the corporation a significant amount of money and slow down one of their major projects.
She found the work at times more stressful than other forms of environmental work because of it’s covert solitary nature and she has since moved on to other work, yet remains pleased with the large impact she was able to have and sees it as a very effective tactic. The work required her to be her own moral compass and motivator without receiving encouragement from other environmentalists. I remain very grateful to her for sharing this story.
Linking arms across a distance is known as a human chain. I spoke to Rakesh who volunteers for Greenpeace in Newcastle about his recent trip to Germany and Poland, where people from all over Europe gathered to show their opposition to proposed open pit mining.
Walking along to a remote country road junction I arrive at the same time as a man pushing a bike. We start to chat and it turns out that he teaches architecture at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) in Wales and is building his own eco-home. Having got a puncture a few miles back after a day cycling around environmental buildings he’s walking to his home village of Belford, where I’m also headed. Well met indeed.
Duncan Roberts and his partner Mary Kelly are both architects and have been slowly building their own wooden home without credit by saving as they go. It’s been a long process of learning and development, and they share their learning with others.
Ashington used to be a coal mining town and the large sudden scale loss of work left a deep scar in the population, just as the coal mines left scars in the land. Where a mine used to be there is now a nature area, pond and several wind turbines. Rebuilding the community is taking longer, with many people feeling a lack of hope. I met the new cafe owners at The Bistro who’ve been making a success of their new venture for the last 6 months.
When you go through Morpeth you must visit Emily Wilding Davisons grave.
I was amazed when I was told that I would be walking right past where a suffragette was buried. The only suffragette in fact to die because of the struggle for the vote. Emily was a militant activist who disrupted meetings, burned buildings and threw stones at politicians who were against women having the vote. During her nine jail terms she was force fed. She died trying to pin a suffrage banner to the kings horse at the Epsom Derby in 1913. Emily was a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) that employed a range of militant tactics to get women the vote.
Morpeth itself is a beautiful town with a park containing a castle, mound, river and the most bizarrely homey public toilet you’ll ever see.
Winding from Morpeth to Ashington is a quiet tree-lined stream valley.