First Commission: WOOD 25th – 30th June 2014
16th August 2017
SOUND EXPLORERS Wed 22nd July led by Dan Fox
18th August 2017

Ongoing research: WILDERNEST at the BEACH HOUSE

Photo Heather Naylor

WILDERNEST PROJECT, Baycliff, Ulverston


At an unusual local auction where 30 acres of Morecambe Bay foreshore and woodland came under the hammer, we managed to acquire a handkerchief sized plot of 2 acres running north from the Beach House. Labelled 'Manorial Waste'

Its ownership goes back in time to the Middle Ages and currently the Crown Estates wish to sell the lot. A sure sign of the times.

So, we have a patch of scrubland on an embankment of loose boulder clay, countless neglected small trees, loads of brambles and the foreshore up to the mean high tide mark. A public right of way - the Cumbria Coastal Way footpath runs along the tideline.

The strip contains a variety of trees: wild cherry, willow, ash, elder, hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, alder, young sycamore and a couple of small oaks. In consultation with Natural England, Greg Thompson, our local tree expert, began work, before the nesting season, on pruning some of the trees, with a view to enhancing and conserving features of the site.

A  few trees have canopies heavily weighted with ivy and were  leaning towards the beach and in danger of collapse due to the 'sail' effect of high winds which loosen their roots. Some brambles are also being cleared to open up glades, others are being left as cover for small mammals and birds.

'Whatever they have done .....   from bringing art onto the streets to creating green funerals ......  Sue and John have had a profound impact on those around them, creating prototypes that have gone on to influence both art and society. The Beach House is one of their most personal statements of intent and the start of something new'.      Coast Magazine March 2012
THIRD STEPS: 1st September 6pm - 9pm PUTTING a PEG IN THE GROUND

Fires and Soups. Songs and Stories. Flags and Whirligigs. Weather Vanes and Washed Up Sculptures. Friends and Conversation. Sounds and Music. Films and Fantasies. Icons for an Unknown Faith. First event in our new WILDERNEST project. The Mapping of Wildernest begins.

We had a great gathering on the beach with neighbours, friends and families, fish soup with local samphire. Many thanks to John and Christie, Heather and Andy, Bob, Jamie, and to Dan, our projectionist.

We made a MUSEUM of FLOTSAM AND JETSAM in a day, displayed in a packing crate that had floated in on the tide.



We ended with an outdoor movie night. Critters and Oystercatcher films made as part of Weatherstation project, then an extract from Storm Boy, ending up with the song from MAMA MIA where the local Greek women in their black frocks abandon their chores for joyous singing on the jetty before leaping into the sea.


FOURTH STEPS: October 2013 PLANTING Winter Wildernest onions and potatoes on the beach in the LAZY BEDS

Young visitors prepare the soil banked up into 'Lazy Beds' for winter potatoes.




  1. Lesley Reid says:

    Really happy to have heard your talk last night at Curious Puppetry and to see your website

    Thank you to you and Hannah.

    Warm regards Lesley

    • foxandgill says:

      Thank you Lesley. Much appreciated. Glad you found the website, although we are somewhat behind with updating it. Soon to list next Rites of Passage Autumn School in Cumbria and announce Wildernest2 programme here May to July on the shoreline below the Beach house. Warmest wishes.

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