Ginkgo supported Alex Murdin of Ruralrecreation to create a new art project for a major village housing extension around Hilperton in Wiltshire. Contrasting the first set of macro enclosures of common lands in the agricultural revolution (which reached its peak in the late 19th century) with a wave of micro enclosures as housing demand continues to rise, hEdges is about current territorial and environmental commons, fluctuating human boundaries, ecological conduits and food production systems.
hEdges is produced as a new model farm at scale model size, a deconstructed wild farm for the future. Public path verges and one section of park in southern Hilperton are marked out as new linear fields where edible native plant species have been planted (plums, medlars, hazel, pear, elder, etc). Garden escapees and monocultural grass will be replaced with foragable plants, re-seeding and re-weeding for the future and creating a wild eating & drinking resource.
The new model farm sites are marked by 1/3 scale field furniture (stiles & gates) and lampposts along the main cycle path host 1/3 scale farm signs which mark out the ghost of old hedge boundaries. These signs form both a eulogy to the terroir created here before and a survey of the new suburban harvest – images of what is growing on the old green fields now, whether gardens, gnomes, pot plants or pets. The project also features a number of community engagement activities including two foraging and cocktail making events led by the owners of the Ethicurean, a residents photography competition and even official parish council gnomes – all featured online at www.h-edges.org.uk.