In May/June 2011, Mike Collier walked with a group of people from the mouth of Tyne, via Hexham up the North Tyne to Thorneyburn with natural historians Keith Bowey, Matt Hawking, Steve Westerberg and Tina Wiffen.
Participants included: Tom Kyle; Alex Lockwood; Ian Dawson; Clare Satow; Liz Beech; Alice and Rob Massey; Paul Usherwood; Diane Jones; Anne and Neil Gardner; Marjorie Baille; Izzy McDonald-Booth; Anne Purvis; Suzanne Lloyd; Michael Davies; Frank Anderson; Fred and Margaret Watson; Freda Hamilton; Eric Nicholson
There were nine walks (graded easy to moderate) over five weekends. Each walk lasted between six and eight hours with regular stops to identify flora and fauna. All these walks were free and were part of an art project funded by VARC (Visual Arts in Rural Communities) and supported by the Customs House, South Tyneside Council, The University of Sunderland and Northumberland National Park.
Collier used the material recorded on the walk (all the flora and fauna seen and heard and written down in a series of 32 pages in his diary) to create a new body of work (32 images of coloured pastel notations drawn over digital prints of the diary pages) a selection of which can be seen below. The work was exhibited in both the Customs House (at the mouth of the Tyne) and the VARC gallery (in a barn) at Highgreen, which is close to Tarset where the walk ended, in June and July 2013