On 18th May 2022, a group of artists and writers met at the Rural Arts Hub, a former dairy farm on the Welshampton Road in North Shropshire. This was the first Unherd! Walking the Land gathering for walks and creative activities around the Marches Mosses and responding to some of the issues raised as part of Voices Values Actions.
In early November 2021, an international panel was convened to discuss the issues entangled in alternative ways of thinking about, understanding and valuing special environments. The goal was to determine if we needed to consider different ways to inform and shape the future of the Fenn’s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses and Macquarie Marshes, and environments like them. In this post, the two event organisers and co-leads of the Mosses and Marshes project, Kim V. Goldsmith and Andrew Howe reflect on the issues raised in the panel discussion.
Engaging with the local community is one of the key parts of the Mosses and Marshes project that gives it meaning and brings it to life. I teamed up with artists Kate Johnston and Dr Sue Challis and Shropshire Wildlife Trust for a fabulous collaborative project with Wem Youth Club at Whixall Moss.
During last year, I was contacted by Sheila Birch who said to me that some of my artistic responses to the Mosses resonated with her experience of the landscape. Although she no longer lives in the area, she still has family connections with Bettisfield and is a regular visitor. I invited her to recount some of her childhood memories
In the course of visiting the Fenn’s Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses NNR over the last few years, I’ve met and spoken with people on and around the site, either living locally, or visiting from further afield. Here is the first in a short series of posts recording some of the conversations I have had with local people who lived and or worked on the Moss