The finish but not the end

berwick thumbnailThank you, for everything! 

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!

 

 

 

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Entering the ‘desolate’ north

Like many people I find the description of the ‘desolate’ north deeply insulting and incorrect. Heading north from Durham to Newcastle the accents change (“Where’ you sittin’ Mam?”), there are old and new industrial areas, dramatic rivers and beautiful architecture. Heavy industry and exploiting the environment has been a part of the area’s long history, with people working hard in the jobs that fed the economy of the rest of the country. I’ve walked through some areas of Newcastle that are undeniable economically deprived but everywhere I go in the country there are people who care about the future; people who care about other human beings and about the ecosystem we share. People who devote their lives and energies to protecting the future of our communities. I could not be happier that this final week of the journey will finish in the North East and am really looking forward to walking the stunning North East coastline for the first time. Last but certainly not least.

 

 

Durham catherdral

There are several great projects in Durham including Fruitful Durham and  Abundant Earth, however upon hearing of Rupert’s accident, it was to the cathedral that I headed. Although many of the visitors are there as tourists, people still come to pray and contemplate in this amazing place. Despite not being Christian, during this journey I’ve found churches to be places of community, safety and care. Lighting a candle and sending my thoughts to Rupert at the cathedral, where he used to sing in the choir, felt right. A verger, I discovered, is someone employed by the cathedral to order the services and maintain the space. I also discovered them to be kindly, helpful and willing to sit with someone in distress. Where do people in your community go, when they don’t know where to go?

As the human walks

I am grateful that I am not a crow. However, it does constrain my route options. The fact is footpaths aren’t always going where you want to go, meaning often you do have to use the roads. Previously I would have been a fan of sustainable transport schemes which separate cyclists, pedestrians, motorists etc, and in some cities I still might be, but the bulk of the country can’t accommodate that policy. What happens when you retreat from the roads is that motorists don’t expect to see you there, so they drive faster. People who have no choice but to use the roads then have a more dangerous place.

I’m not suggesting that you go out and walk along your nearest busy A road alone (it’s not fun and rather scary) but if you look on your OS map you’ll find the roads are colour coded. Yellow seems to be quite narrow so cars go a lot slower, light orange might be a bit busy (a car every few minutes), dark orange will probably be stressful and a bit risky and red they’ll be gunning for you. So I would heartily recommend yellow coded roads, light orange too especially when you’re highly visible, to remind people in cars that other types of transport are used on roads.

What can you expect from The Buzz Tour?

What can you expect from the next four months? A lot of inspiration, some mishaps and some great times. 🙂 As we walk we will be updating the blog with information when we get to internet connections. We’ll be taking short video clips to post as we go. We’ll be introducing concepts and linking to sites where you can find out more. We’ll also be taking higher quality video footage for a documentary which will be released after the tour has finished. Sometimes there may be reflective podcasts for you to put your feet up and listen to, at other times a gallery of photos of places you may never have seen. And throughout there will be amazing people, doing what they can for the future of our culture and our planet. So friends if you can’t be with us on the walk, we invite you to be with us here, to learn and to discover as we do, and to change the culture, not the climate.

Oxford practice walk

buzz fundraiserLush threw us a fundraiser in Oxford this weekend, raising ÂŁ57 for us with sales of their Charity Pots.

Then we visited bike co-op Broken Spoke, and set out along the beautiful canal and Port Meadow and passed the ruins of Godstow Nunnery.

Further out we found Fai Farms providing artifical bee homes. You could provide living space for bees in a similar way. IMG_20140405_175550

We passed Wytham Woods a Site of Special Scientific Interest where the habitat is being preserved.

In total the four of us walked about 35km, mostly on the second day which was a good long IMG_20140405_153142practice!