Getting lost in maps

photo (4)Its not often that I blog here on my fascination with maps. But yesterday’s find in a charity shop, a 1955 map of my home area, an OS Sheet SD54 1:25,000, brought home once again how wonderful it is to get lost in maps.

 
Its fascinating to see how both the natural and man made landscape changes over decades and indeed how cartography styling changed.
 
 
 photo (5)                   photo (6)
 
The nearby Beacon Fell, my  ‘get out for a short cycle or walk’ area,  shows hardly any trees in 1955, it is today just about 90% forested, unfortunately with many non native trees, although there is a programme to remove or to thin these in progress.
 
The circular one way road, that now has umpteen Strava segments and a favourite for Preston boy racers had not been built, neither has ‘the tarn’ (now an SSSI), the visitor centre or any of the car parks!

Fairsnape Fell was dangerously close to Yorkshire (!) and noted as being in the Bowland Forest, Higher Division. My home village of Inglewhite just on the southern edge of the map proudly displays a P (Post Office) – now sadly gone, a couple of decades ago.

The map, reprinted in 1956 with minor corrections is based upon 1907-1930 surveys, is littered with the beautiful icons and information typical of a bygone cartographic era.

photo (3)The scale bar gives measurement in furlongs, in feet, in yards and in miles. The magnetic declination is a whopping 10 deg west, which must have been the cause of many scouting,  map to compass navigation mistakes. (It is now zero, or just swinging back in parts of the UK)  In a seemingly odd mix of metric and imperial, the grid is based on 1km squares, but we are reassuringly told that one square inch presents 99.619 acres on the ground. 
 
The original cost of the printed map was 2s 6d net, with a cover price of 4/6 later revised to 5/6. (Thats 27p in real money)
 
I am assuming for practical cost reasons rather than an environmental considerations, it is stated that “to save paper the reference tables of Conventional Signs are omitted and published separately”
 
Wonderful.

Seasons Greetings …

Each year we use images taken locally for our Christmas cards, below are the images we have used this year, hope you enjoy.

Winter weather at the beginning of the year gave an almost alpine feel to our local fell …

Beacon Fell

… and opportunity for some fun snow rides …

Winter Ride - Beacon Fell

… and we are very fortunate to witness this sunrise on most mornings – well on cloud free days that is! …

Inglewhite Sunrise

Have a great and peaceful seasonal break.

sustainable connectivity

A new look for isite with a new image on the top banner(*). I like this design as it includes a RSS button – to get isite delivered to your desktop, and a search facility to search back through isite items.

But a little more too. After reflection on this blogs contents and direction, I have slightly amended the purpose of isite.

Yes it will continue to be a news views and comments blog for the built environment, poking here and there when things dont seem quite right or dubious, or indeed covered with greenwash. It will continue to be a voice to the online world for the Lancashire Best Practice Construction Club and to a lesser degree the CKE, and will continue to focus on collaborative working, integrated working, facilities management, futures and improvement towards excellence. The emerging web2.0 or even 3.0, and I include second life here, is an important theme that links and enables allot of what we, what I do, so will remain a key element of the posts and comments.

isite is also of course the outlet to the world for my business – fairsnape.  (the name was taken from the local hill in the Forest of Bowland visible from my base here)

However, more importantly I see isite starting to look at connectivity with the natural environment. A number of activities I have been involved with lately has made me realise we may be where we are today because we have lost, and struggling to regain connectivity with our impact on ecology in its widest sense.

What does this mean? – Ecological footprints more than carbon footprints – as John Muir said when we tug on a single thing in nature we find it attached to everything else . – natural materials rather than harmful – renewable energy rather than fossil fuels, community based FM rather than endless target driven fm, about responsible sourcing rather than supply chain bullying, all putting a new direction to CSR.

I have long used the triptych of fit for people purpose and planet (before it became enshrined into the triple bottom line concept I like to think) . It is what Patrick Geddes would call folk, work and place, nearly a century ago, and reading Satish Kumar over the weekend – he described our modern trinity as needing soil, soul and society. Soil for the environment. soul for a spiritual dimension and society for justice.

Kumar a great walker – now based at the Schumacher college in Dartmoor, that incidentally run courses on Zen and Construction, talks about never trusting ideas that you never worked through whilst walking. “when you walk you are connected with nature, when in a car or a building your are disconnected, you walk to connect yourself”.

A while ago I started a benchmark walking programme to do just this – getting workshops and learning sharing events out of a training room or hotel into the countryside. With a loose agenda that emerges to deal with peoples real improvement needs, benchmarkwalks allows real learning and sharing, I likened it to doing business on a golf course – but this is business improving on a walk.

So all this as a preamble to a new thread for isite – connectivity – one I hope that will give it more scope, depth and importance as we address the sustainability issues, the soil, soul and society issues facing the built environment.

(* taken at Beacon Fell, Forest of Bowland, Lancashire recently – a location for many benchmarkwalks)