East of London, the Broomway lies at the mouth of the Thames estuary, where the river meets the sea. It’s an ancient public right of way, at least 600 years old, perhaps an Anglo-Saxon drove route. It was formerly waymarked by a series of markers resembling brooms, hence its name. When the tide is out, it provides access on foot to Foulness Island.
The byway has long been notorious as the most perilous in England due to the disorienting nature of its environment in poor visibility, and near inevitability of death by drowning for anyone still out on the sands when the tide comes in. Many people have died on it over the years.
The Broomway leaves the mainland at Wakering Stairs, where there is a causeway over the band of soft mud known as the Black Grounds (or blackgrounds) which separates the mainland from the firmer ground of the Maplin Sands.
— Jack French, Wiltshire, England
The bings are an enormous set of spoil-heaps comprised from the tailings of the once globally important shale-oil industry which was centred in West Lothian. Since workings ended in the early 1960’s, the bings have gradually been re-appropriated as an unlikely leisure ground, site of nationally significant biodiversity and a monumental symbol of West Lothian identity.
The unintentionally beautiful, sculpted slopes of the bings are slowly being reclaimed by birch woodland and grassy meadows; in places, almost completely obscuring the industrial origins of the land they lie upon.
The bings are also at the core of the vibrant, central-belt motocross scene. The faces of the tips are relentlessly altered by their tracks with each passing weekend.
The bings are not without their issues and they fall foul of the usual problems associated with derelict land, with fly tipping and anti-social behaviour being the key problems.
Although I describe my project as a study of the bings, it’s perhaps more appropriate to describe the photographs as a record of my experience of them. I eschew the absolute objectivity often associated with contemporary landscape photography in favour of making lyrical images and by doing so aim to challenge ideas about how we perceive use of post-industrial landscapes in Scotland.
— Jack Luke, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom