RAF Holbeach is a bombing range on the Lincolnshire Wash that is used by British, American and European squadrons for training purposes. Protected in part by the military presence, the range has a curious atmosphere. Here, a team of civilian employees man the targets and look after the natural landscape. The targets themselves are a collection of old ships, armoured personal carriers and ad hoc structures made from scrap material. In the eyes of local artist, Michael Sanders, they look like “accidental sculptures”, punching out from stark landscape of the Wash.
In February and March 2010 Michael Sanders and programme maker Katie Burningham worked in and around RAF Holbeach Air Weapons Range gathering material for Target Practice, a BBC Radio4 programme about a bombing range on the Lincolnshire Wash.
Katie Burningham has carefully drawn the complex strands together into a rich and atmospheric sound portrait. What emerges from this collaboration is an insight into a compelling landscape and the people who work in it, building and maintaining the targets used by British, American and European military aircraft for practice bombing and strafing.
Special thanks to the following for their help with this project: Kevin Wilson, Squadron Leader (Retired) Roy Brocklebank, Paul Everington, Lt Col Simon Lloyd at Defence Training Estates, and all the staff at RAF Holbeach.