For first year students observational sketching trips have included drawing along the river, within the Victorian arcades and alleyways of Leeds city centre. They then moved out to the urban fringe of Meanwood Park, a local woodland on the outskirts of Leeds, which forms part of Meanwood Valley Way, which links to the Dales Way walking route to Ilkley. This was followed by a trip to a local world Heritage site of Saltaire including visiting an exhibition ‘The arrival of Spring’ by David Hockney at Salts Mill. A three-day field Trip to Robin Hoods Bay immersed them in a coastal landscape drawing serial vision through the beach, town and cliffs of the bay. Observing the layers of culture, nature and processes that make up the landscape. The students then focused on drawing for design by learning orthographic projection in a series of drawing workshops at the Landscape Resource Centre, our experimental gardens within the Headingley campus of the University.
Second year students enjoyed a field trip to the Lake District to explore large scale rural landscapes at the beginning of this semester. Fieldwork explored ways to identify, record and articulate the character of a place using professional Landscape Character Assessment techniques. The key characteristics of the iconic limestone landscape of Malham Cove, visited on route, was recorded on site and compared to the complex volcanic landscape of the southern lakes. The trip provided the opportunity to engage with leading specialists in the field of forestry design including Professor Alan Simson and Landscape Advisor at the Forestry Commission and Leeds Beckett alumni Richard Hellier. They discussed the current initiatives to encourage re-afforestation of our rural landscapes, traditional approaches to tree planting and how the greater diversity of uses anticipated will affect the approach to the design of these large scale landscapes in the future. Whilst visiting the dramatic Castlerigg Neolithic stone circle, exchange student Tori Fields commented that she was inspired by the immersive experience that the trip provided, enabling her to fully engage with the landscape and that she was ‘blown away’ by the scenery and cultural features in the landscape that the trip had revealed.