FROM THE ROOTS

Introduction to project

 

This project works alongside the Camberwell Scouts in London but also Dorset based farmers. An attempt has been made to involve a new generation outside of the structure of the school educational system. Together they have inspired this unusual moulding machine, drawing on bow drills used to start fires when camping, and the need for more wildflowers across the country, especially in our cities. The aim is to start by making from the very simplest of means, and then to project that outcome into the community where it can flourish and evolve. 

The project explores the complexity and importance of biodiversity and nature regeneration, comparing the health of our living systems in rural and urban areas and breaking down the key principles used in agriculture and horticulture. In this case, growing wildflower margins down the sides of arable fields, a government subsidised enterprise. The margins provide insect pathways through the countryside and subsequently avoids forming areas of, what can be described as, insect deserts that provide little sustenance or shelter to pollinators. They can also be applied in a city friendly form, delivering more nutritious pathways, to guide insects through the city, these are called B-lines. 

During various workshops via Zoom throughout January with the Beavers and Cubs, we attempted to tap into this overwhelming topic. The feedback has shown strong engagement with a Guerrilla style method when it comes to nature, such as making wildflower seed bombs to hide in cracked pavements and creating community hacking tools made from waste materials. The Scouts have been taking action in their local area by aiding pollinators which has consequently encouraged a dialogue on the systems we currently have in place and the action we can take. 

One outcome explored was to mould wildflower pods which could be put up around the community and bring awareness and joy whilst also providing more feed for pollinators. However, moving forwards, the outcome has changed to co-making machines which will aim to engage and educate about biodiversity through making, bringing people together and getting people hands on. The main aim of these machines are to start important conversations however, the products produced by them will provide houses for pollinators made out of natural materials which can break down over time. 

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