Britain’s Abandoned Playgrounds

The Films...

All 4 has commissioned up-and-coming Sheffield based Salt Street Productions to produce a six-part series that explores some of Britain’s most interesting locations via a group of young, talented urban athletes.

Travelling across the UK on a converted double decker bus freerunner Katie McDonnell, highliner Jediah Doohan, BMX rider Pete Catherall and skateboarder Calvin Ligono will breathe new life into six lost locations as they physically explore each space through their chosen sport.

The history of each location is revealed as the athletes meet people local to the area who share their memories and connection to these now forgotten spaces.

Salt Street Productions specialise in making short-form content about outdoor sports told from alternative perspectives. Their most successful films Red Run and Low Line have exceeded 10 million views online, receiving the critical acclaim of prestigious outdoor film festivals Kendal Mountain Festival and Sheffield Adventure Film Festival. The series was commissioned by All 4 following an open-pitch round hosted at Kendal Mountain Festival in 2016.

All 4’s Thom Gulseven says: “We’ve been really keen to use the spectacle of adventure and urban sports in a totally new way, so when we met Ed and the team at Salt Street we knew there was the potential to do something amazing. This project is a great way of celebrating and breathing new life into bits of Britain that have been left forgotten, and with Salt Street’s pedigree in urban sports, we know it’ll be in a completely innovative, exciting style.”

Salt Street Productions founding director, Ed Birch says: ‘We want to bring the fun, playful and risk-taking approach our athletes take to exploring their own urban environments to help re-awaken each of the incredible locations featured in our series. Having once housed thriving residential, leisure or working communities, the places we visit have either been lost to time or are in the process of being redeveloped. We hope to inject a new lease of life into what we see as some of Britain’s most spectacular abandoned playgrounds.’

Artistic Director of Kendal Mountain Festival Claire Jane Carter says: ‘Kendal Mountain Festival have shared a long and fruitful partnership with Channel 4 which last year resulted in the TV-premiere of four fantastic outdoor adventure films as part of the series ‘Life on the Edge’. It also provided our community of outdoor filmmakers with the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the All 4 commissioning team and we are delighted this has resulted in a commission for the wonderfully talented Salt Street Productions team.’

Commissioned by All 4’s Thom Gulseven with Editor Daisy Mount, the series will release on All 4 in the Autumn.

For further information or images please contact:
Jenny Brown on jenny@bandofbirds.co.uk or 07779 281114 or
Katherine Solomon KSolomon@channel4.co.uk on 0207 306 1095.

The Gallery

Jediah Doohan

Jediah Doohan is 25 and is from Hampshire. He was introduced to slacklining whilst travelling in France and swiftly progressed into the sub-discipline of this sport, highlining. He recounts his most memorable experience as successfully walking a 209m long, 100m high polyester highline, rigged between the peaks of Monte Piana and Monte Piano in Italy. That day he not only set a new world record but he did so exactly 100 years after the Italians and Austrians had been fighting each other from the two peaks in WW1. Jediah named the line ‘Live for Love.’ He says: “The things I love most about highlining are the act of facing one’s fear and overcoming it, the solace and feeling of freedom gained from exposure and the potential for continued radical innovation in the sport.”

 

Calvin Ligono

Calvin Ligono is 20 and is from Sheffield. He is a street skateboarder whose tricks are big and precise. Calvin recalls getting into Skateboarding through “ a combination of Tony Hawks playstation games and my neighbour giving me loads of skate dvds.” He mainly skates in Sheffield city centre and says the thing he loves about it is the freedom and that it clears his mind.

Katie McDonnell

Katie McDonnell is 26 years old and is from London. She started practising parkour/freerunning in 2010. Prior to that she was a competitive cheerleader at her university. She was inspired to take up parkour after seeing a group of freerunners practising at an open gym session. She soon joined in not only finding a new sport but a whole new community and hasn’t looked back. She says, ‘I think that that was the first time I really experienced the true sense of freedom that comes with freerunning and from then on, training outside became my new favourite thing!’. Katie is now a full-time professional and represents her sport globally through commercial shoots and attending parkour events.

 

Pete Catherall

Pete Catherall is 20 and is from Cheshire. He got into BMX when his local council made a skate park in Ellesmere Port. As soon as he saw the barspins tailwhips and backflips he knew he needed to get a BMX. His favourite trick is a tailwhip, although it is not the hardest, he says it looks the best! Pete’s best trick is a double backflip and after that a flarewhip, which is a combination of a backflip and a tailwhip on a ramp. He says ‘I love to explore, I love riding my BMX. A road trip with a BMX? That’s the icing on the cake!”