Landscapes are always in flux. Change occurs in many ways, including the introduction of new farming and land management practices, building, development and natural processes, including coastline erosion.
Fixed-Point Photography allows the AONB Unit to monitor and evaluate patterns of change within the Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The project will aid understanding of landscape change through time and will inform the planning and management of future changes. The project will also record evidence that the AONB landscape is retaining its essential characteristics and qualities. To this end, it is necessary to photograph representative samples of different landscape forms, including heathland, sandy coastline, rocky foreshore, farmed land (of various types) and settlement.
Photographs are taken from the same vantage points (‘fixed points’) several times each year. At the moment photographs are taken once during each of the four seasons. These images gradually build up a picture of change through time.
The AONB’s Fixed Point Photography Project began in 2010 so is still very much in its infancy. However, the AONB records can be compared with historic photographs, such as the Gibson family archive.
At present, there are five Fixed Point Photography sites on St Mary’s:
- Porthcressa, Stony Porth Bank
- St Mary’s Airport Control Tower
- St Mary’s Airport Hanger
- The Isles of Scilly Golf Club
- The Coastguard Tower
The AONB Unit hopes to establish Fixed Point Photography on the Off-Islands in 2013.
The Isles of Scilly AONB Fixed-Point Photography project is part of an initiative led by the South-West Protected Landscape Forum (SWPLF) which includes all of the AONBs and National Parks in the South-West of England. Therefore, the work in Scilly will contribute to a larger project recording landscape change on a regional scale.