Maybe because of the pandemic, we have become more aware of other people’s health concerns, or is it just Andrew Stuck, getting a little older, and hearing friends speak of family members living with dementia? He is on a walk in Regent’s Park in London with Marion Child, a Head of Service in the Alzheimer’s Society operations team. Alzheimer’s Society have set up walking challenges, the most recent are a series of almost marathon length, set up in part to raise money, but also to provide support for families and friends of those living with dementia. 20’11” 9.7MB
Andrew Stuck is in Olot, Catalunya, in the company of Clara Gari, the founder of the Nau Côclea Contemporary Art centre and of The Grand Tour, an annual nomadic walking art residency that Clara has developed over the last eight years. Previously having received public funding to run a conventional art centre offering exhibitions, workshops and talks, a political change meant the funding was withdrawn, and Clara struggled to keep the art centre alive. Thinking out of the box, she reprised a personal walking journey she had made in 2003, in which she walked for three weeks on a 200 kilometre route that linked artists and friends, to create what she called The Grand Tour that now follows a spiral route through eastern Catalunya and the Pyrenees. 22’23″ 10.5MB
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On a hot summer’s day at a walking conference in Girona, Catalunya, Andrew Stuck is accompanying self-styled photo troubadour, Jez Hastings on a short stroll. Jez has been known to walk to similar conferences, including a walk through Italy, Albania and Macedonia to reach a gathering in Prespas – walking long distances is in his blood. They talk about why that is so, and how and why Jez has developed his practice of ‘a pace of purpose without purpose’, of making art through experiencing landscapes on durational walks, and in taking fewer photographs…27’31” 12.9MB
Andrew Stuck is in the company of Alex Middleton, one of the creators of Vespucci Adventures, that encourages people to put away their smart phones, to walk in the ‘great outdoors’. He has come to Greenwich to walk around Andrew’s local neighbourhood and talk about how he and his co-founder have worked tirelessly over the last five years to build a business around a shared passion for walking. It may be a passion, but as yet, it is not a profitable business. The COVID pandemic brought trials but let them also develop the business in other ways, and Alex tells us what their plans are for the next five years, as well as offering some candid advice to anyone considering turning their walking passion into a business. 26’44” 12.5MB
Charlie Lee Potter has had a lifelong passion for working with sound especially in creatively weaving soundscapes to evoke places. As a former BBC radio journalist and foreign correspondent, she knows how the sound of a place helps to tell complicated stories and has applied this to a fascinating series of podcasts recorded on walks called “Inside a Mountain”. However there is a lot more to Charlie than just working with sound, as Andrew Stuck discovers on the walk they take across Christchurch Meadows in Oxford. 25’50” 12.1MB
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Photographer Quintin Lake set himself a daunting challenge, to walk and photograph the coastline of Great Britain. It is turning into an 8-year project, as he is now editing hundreds of photographs he has taken on the coastal walks, around what he has aptly called ‘The Perimeter’. Andrew Stuck catches up with him on a bright and breezy day along the Cotswold Way, a favourite local walk of Quintin’s. Although Quintin has spent five years solitarily walking, which he describes as ‘oneliness’, he is great company, and he tells Andrew about why walking and photography are so integral to his life, and how there is a kind of creative magic in walking more and photographing less. 26’02” 12.2MB
Feature and portrait image: Tom Martin, all others: Quintin Lake
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Andrew Stuck is in Bognor, in West Sussex on a very hot day, walking around the University of Chichester campus with Andrea Vassallo. Andrea is completing a PhD with an installation in which gallery visitors will be able to experience walking beside him on a long walk. For Andrew, long walks tend to be 12 to 15 kilometres; for Andrea, he chose to walk from his home in Lancing (UK) to his childhood home on the outskirts of Venice (Italy) during the summer of 2021.
If you happen to be anywhere near Bognor in the first two weeks of September 2022, visit the installation and experience, falling in step with Andrea as he walks to Italy.
The conversation is about the walk Andrea undertook and why long distance walking is so important to him and (spoiler alert) we also cover details of the exhibition – the conversation opens with Andrea explaining how far he walked and how it took him. 28’47” 13.5MB
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Five years ago when looking for places to get close to nature with her toddler, Hana Sutch found it proved to be absurdly difficult.Although through recommendations, she found One Tree Hill and Sydenham Hill Woods, Hana became convinced that what was needed was a simple app to help solve this problem facing many parents.She applied her digital design skills and came up with Go Jauntly.With an infectious laugh and an intriguing story to tell, Andrew Stuck and Hana quickly fell into a candid conversation, about how Go Jauntly came into being. This is a must listen for anyone, who like Andrew, has thought of creating an app, as Hana reveals just how tough it can be. 26’20” 12.3MB
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There are 19 long distance national trails in the UK and you are about to hear from Martyn Howe, a man who has walked each of them, but he hasn’t stopped walking, and he is now completing the newly designated English coast path. So what got him going in the first place, and what kept him going, and what is his advice to anyone considering walking one or more of the national trails? Andrew Stuck tries to keep up with him as they walk through Regent’s Park in London, as Martyn explains his mantra of beast, feast and yeast and how his endeavours got published in his book, aptly called the Tales from theBig Trails. 23’10” 11.1MB
Fiona Hesse, is the guest curator of WALK!, the current exhibition at the Schirn Kunsthalle Gallery in Frankfurt that includes work from more than 40 international artists. Recorded over a Zoom call, it was Andrew Stuck’s pleasure to learn more about Fiona’s own journey to becoming a curator, her enthusiasm for contemporary art, and in how she undertook a PhD on walking artist, Hamish Fulton. Hamish was one of the first Talking Walking interviewees back in 2008. Although the opening of the WALK! exhibition was delayed by COVID, some of the artists featured were able to include work they had created under pandemic restrictions. Fiona reveals some of the criteria used to select works, offers a useful working definition of walking art, as well as suggesting a couple of walking art practices for listeners to try. 24’51” 11.6MB
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“Where My Feet Fall” is an anthology of essays on walking by 20 contemporary authors, brought together by Duncan Minshull. Duncan was for decades an editor and senior producer for BBC Radio, and if like Andrew Stuck you are a fan of listening to books read on the radio, then it has been Duncan who is likely to have chosen them. “Where my feet fall” is not his first anthology of writing on walking, and Andrew is keen to establish, why he chose that topic, of all the ones he could from a lifetime career of choosing books for the radio. They meet in Paddington Recreation Ground, a popular London park close to where he lives. 18’56” 8.9MB
Published to coincide with the publication of “Where My Feet Fall” – you can join a conversation with Duncan at the Walking Writers’ Salon at 7pm BST on Tuesday 5 April – read more and book your ticket here.
Active travel and environmental activist Pam Rouquette has given Andrew Stuck a walk as a birthday present. The route that we take is around the city of Salisbury and links up places which are significant to Pam. 25 years ago in 1997, when she was still working as a community physiotherapist, she was a member of the Salisbury Walking Forum and became involved in a healthy walks initiative called the “Doorstep Walks”.
Pam has been the driving force behind healthy walks in Salisbury, ever since. She has led hundreds of group walks for different ages and abilities, devised scores of walking routes as well as being instrumental in creating a popular walking map for the city and surrounding areas. As you will learn from this slightly unusual interview, Pam has also had a hand in maintaining foot paths and in securing spaces for wildlife.
Over the years, Andrew has tried to entice Pam to be interviewed for Talking Walking and each time she has turned him down, modestly saying that she has little to tell. However, Pam is one of the most inspirational, and quietly determined people he has ever met, so as unobtrusively as he could, he took his recorder with him on this birthday walk.
The birthday walk begins on the bank of the River Nadder, we have reached this point by passing through a narrow railing-fenced alleyway between business units on the Churchfields industrial estate. We are less than 10 minutes walk from the railway station. 28’28” 13.6MB