Common Ground | Manifesto for Fields

Kilmartin Glen Photo Chris Fremantle
Kilmartin Glen Photo Chris Fremantle

What is a field?  It is the most basic unit of the inhabited countryside in England, perhaps.  A field is certainly iconic, resonant and getting bigger every year.  Common Ground, who have been working on local distinctiveness, parish scale thinking and food for more than 30 years now, have focused on fields.  Sad to hear that Sue Clifford and Angela King have retired, but happy to receive news of more innovative and inspiring work – just read the Common Ground Manifesto for Fields.

I wonder what this project would look like in a different cultural context – in Italy for instance, or in Canada?  This articulation is English.  I wonder what a Scottish version would be?  The principles are general, but the character and the emotion are in the specifics.  Each country also has its own poetry (cf To A Mouse, R. Burns).


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  1. The creation of fields was a political act, of course, the enclosures beginning in the 17th century ended strip farming taking small strips of land from the poor and making them into fields that they could not afford to buy. Strip farming was more egalitarian.

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