Tracks, Traces and Trails

Tracks, Traces and Trails: Nature Revealed


Tracks, Traces and Trails: Nature Revealed (TTT) is a creative engagement initiative that seeks to connect communities to their local nature reserves, in order to gain a new understanding of environmental issues and the natural world. This partnership project between the University of Leeds and Natural England uses creative interventions resulting in a series of artistic outputs including a children’s storybook, soundscapes, artworks and new writing, aiming to make the invisible visible by exploring the following themes and ideas:

Visualising Climate

We can readily see the effects of climate change, but not necessarily climate itself, which tends to exceed what we can see or feel or experience. How can we ‘see’ the climate that most of us only dimly understand even as so many of us are clearly changing it? How might ‘seeing’ climate, which is mostly invisible to us, help understand climate change and its often destructive effects on both human and non-human lives?

Visualising Migration

Migration is a central facet of life, both human and non-human. Sometimes we can see its effects, though just as often we merely persuade ourselves that we have seen them. However, much of what is involved in migration is effectively invisible to us, not least because migration may operate across vast distances or a variety of not readily comprehensible scales. How can the annual migrations of birds, for example, be made more visible to us, and how might this help us better understand the effects and consequences of human migration?

Visualising the Nocturnal

How can we appreciate the wildlife we can’t see: the wildlife that is active during the hours when we are not? Most mammalian species in the UK are nocturnal, and many as a result are little known to us. However, with a little ingenuity we can still ‘see’ them and, as a consequence, understand the important role they play in our lives. Understanding the habits and life-cycles of nocturnal animals –whether mammals, reptiles or birds– may also help us understand other things we cannot directly ‘see’, such as the current extinction crisis. In the UK alone, up to a quarter of mammals, and a half of birds, are now thought to be in danger of going extinct. Can we ‘see’ these species in order to help save them?

Visualising the Subterranean

Much of what is most important in the animal world happens underground, and many of the most significant species are subterranean. How can we gain insight into this subterranean world, which for the most part is invisible to us? How might such insights help us understand the relationship between different species, including species that may be small but are anything but insignificant? And how might our vision be further expanded by considering the different earth-layers which, reaching far back into history and even beyond human history, make up our contemporary world?

Visit the links below to see our most recent Tracks, Traces and Trails: Nature Revealed online events and web series!

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