Spring Calling navigates a compulsive nature to control and manage the land as a result of the detrimental impact to it caused by permanent land use. The work focuses on a beaver rewilding project in Spains Hall Estate, Essex and two areas of managed coppiced woodland: Pound Wood in Essex and Colin Glen in County Antrim.
In 2019 a pair of European beavers were re-introduced to Spains Hall Estate in Essex as part of the Slow the Flow Finchingield programme. The re-introduction sees the beaver: A natural coppicer, reintroduced to a native habitat after being hunted to extinction 400 years ago.
Coppicing, an ancient woodland management method is carried out by human workforce. A method that has been re-employed in Pound Wood to support the re-introduction of the rare Heath Fritillary butterfly, in an attempt to conserve the species population.
The close relationship between the beaver and butterfly and the circumstance in which they were both reintroduced allows us to understand the ways in which we have created habitats reliant on a manual workforce in order to keep populations sustained. Within the sequence of photographs, empty moth traps are presented within the landscape, photographed out of season the obtrusive constructions dominate the landscape in which a variety of species ought to be present.
Spring Calling consists of 24 photographs and an accompanying supplement The Observer’s Book of Rewilding.
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