Lop the Forest!

Masters Project Yr 1
2021 - 2022
MLA Y1 Prize Winner

This Landscape Design Project sought to establish a strategy for commoning the formerly public, now private areas of land around Epping Forest, to create a publically owned landscape that centres community management and rights to the forest. 

Following Stavros Stavidres work on the ‘commons’ and the act of commoning, my work uses the idea of commoning as a verb describing a process through which space continues to change, as opposed to creating a public space managed by an authority to preserve. Focusing on Chingford Golf Course, a private golf course managed by the City of London as part of the Epping Forest estate, this project proposes commoning as a way of reclaiming the land for public use and enjoyment, rewilding and restoring land whilst still allowing for public access, and allowing for community and public determination of the land through a new management system that reinstates historical rights to the forest.

Recognizing the history of lopping at Epping Forest that historically guided this relationship between commoner and management of the forest, the project centres process, material studies and the utilization of locally available resources to lead design decisions. Challenging traditional landscape drawing representation, this work explores using printmaking, collaborative drawing, and filmmaking as a way of representing negotiation, adaptation and self-determination within landscapes.