Ridgeway Farm Art Project – Community Orchard

September 2023 sees progress towards creating the Ridgeway Farm Community Orchard at Ridgeway Farm. I have been working on this Public Art project since 2013 and am reaching the final stages.  

 The project has had different phases; nature trail map, children’s photography and drawing workshop, bat boxes, a new entrance sign and a community orchard.

The residents at Ridgeway Farm, Purton, Wiltshire are organising themselves into a committee for the Community Orchard which will be for the benefit of the people living on the development of 700 homes.  

It will create a wildlife haven and a meeting place for the community to share produce, ideas and for future generations to enjoy.

The Ridgeway Farm Community Orchard is now ready to grow into the living legacy part of this art project. The location is here:

To find out more about the community orchard please follow the Ridgeway Farm Community Orchard Facebook page where you can connect with residents and volunteer to be involved in planting and caring for the orchard.

You can find out more about community orchards here:

The art project to date has included a hand illustrated nature trail map of the whole development and the wonderful public open spaces surrounding it.  The project has always been about connecting residents with the wonderful natural environments on their doorstep and encouraging wildlife, birds, bats and bees.  

You can access the nature map elsewhere on this blog – colour in your own at home.

The project has included photography workshops with the local primary school – the children worked with Iain Green of Wildlife Wonder learning to notice the wildlife under their noses in the school playground, these images were included on the reverse side of the nature map.  

I did some drawing workshops with Cherry Trees class.  We drew birds eye view maps of our journey to school and of the school site aiming to increase awareness of the physical space in which we live and move through – learning to be observant about everyday journeys and imagine what it would look like if you were a bird flying overhead.

There have been bat boxes made by me installed on the development to encourage roosting, bats are regular visitors to the development and thrive around the attenuation ponds feeding off the insects there.

The entrance sign design for the development is finished and awaiting installation, you can read a bit more here: https://www.melissacole.co.uk/ridgeway-farm-art-project/

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