This month was challenging for visiting the moss. Between having to self-isolate and trying to grab a few days holiday I feel I have been absent for long stretches.

The absences have meant that seasonal changes have been dramatic, the settled summer quietness of July was replaced by a dynamic heavy sky which sat unmoving over the long moisture laden grasses.



“A walk marks time with an accumulation of footsteps. It defines the form of the land. Walking the roads and paths is to trace a portrait of the country…”

– Richard Long, Selected Statements and Interviews, Haunch of Venison Press, 2007


Every time I walk on to the moss it seems like there is an unlocking of something unexpected. There is a reconstruction of hidden stories and lines. I decode, map and collect sensory experiences, connecting and reassembling threads of non-human lives, which weave across my walking path.

The air busy with dragonflies and insects of all sizes made it difficult to walk without colliding.

Subtle colour changes indicate that a transformation is coming, the impermanence of the land connecting place, past and future – no two journeys or walks are ever the same.


For the last six years or so I have been asking questions about the mosslands of Greater Manchester. Questions revolving around a sense of connection to older ways of knowing and being in the land, knowledge informed through touch.

Knowing through a relationship to place and the stuff of place.

How do these lands shape us? and how can we consider thinking in slower, wider timescales and in terms of local when we live in an age of mass production and ecological degradation?


Attention given to the land underfoot informs my growing relationship with Little Woolden Moss.


If you sit on the land long enough

It will speak to you

If you listen you will hear it murmur

If you sit still,

If you stop moving

If you open your ear

You will begin to hear a foreign language – an ancient tongue

And if you

If you can be silent

You can hear it move

And if that silence is maintained

You will hear a faint pulse

And within that pulse begin to feel the fibre of that old song

And it will touch every part of your being

And start to tell you the story of the old spirit that rests in this country.


Song, the story of a Girl, a Bird and a Teapot.

Devi A. (formerly Waiata) Telfer, an Australian poet and playwright.


July saw long periods without rain, followed by days of heavy rain.

Degrees of exposure are revealed starkly as exposed moss slowly turns white.

Humidity was captured and held within the architecture of the moss. Tall grass and ferns hold moisture and fragrance. Textures are revealed by droplets of water as they reshape the leaves/stems/petals on their journey towards the ground.