Hutters Return: New Woodland Crofts in the Black Isle Woods encourage local residents to live with the woodland, not just beside it
Hutters Return: New Woodland Crofts in the Black Isle Woods
METABIOSIS: BLACK ISLE

Metabiosis: Black Isle is a project set out as a Community Manifesto; encouraging residents of the Black Isle in rural Scotland to take back ownership of their local woodland using the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, the community right-to-buy scheme and chiefly through landscape architectural interventions; turning it into a force for greater social and ecological good.

Through long-distance ethnographic study and an engagement with the lived experience of a place, the manifesto conveys a transformative method activating the true power of community narrative whilst enabling residents to procure and transition their forest at the speed of trust – trust in the ideas and interventions proposed, but also trust in themselves as a robust, engaged and resilient community.

New gravel trails, diverse approaches to forest management and an increase in productive planting will allow the community a level of self-sufficiency not seen since crofting dominated the landscape. The manifesto advocates for a strong focus on local materiality and cyclical ecology loops, encouraging re-use and a greater awareness for the metabolisms of the wider Black Isle landscape.

By contemplating the oft-deemed invisible processes of a ‘forestscape’ it may be possible to propose a lens through which a different form of social commons, rooted in the stories of the places from which we live, can prosper. This lens will seek to empower the Black Isle community in transitioning to live with their forest, rather than simply beside it.

Landscape as Reuse: The New Black Isle Forest Materiality expand
Landscape as Reuse: mapping the dynamic and cyclical nature of both human and non-human systems
Proposed New Gravel Trail Through the Black Isle Forest: with key initial activations occurring at the centre around the large groundwater pond
Proposed New Gravel Trail Through the Black Isle Forest
Defining a Central Location for Initial Intervention on the Black Isle - within a 20 minute cycle of most existing major settlements and surrounding a large groundwater pond
Defining a Central Location for Initial Intervention on the Black Isle
A Section through the Forest Garden (initial Isle pilot scheme) showing the various woodland habitats and community activations expand
A Section through the Forest Garden (initial Isle pilot scheme)
Metabiosis: Black Isle - The Community Manifesto
Metabiosis: Black Isle - The Community Manifesto
Forager's Guide, Piece of Re-useable Material, Founder's Mat, Founder's Card - providing access to the various workshops of the Community Hub
Forager's Guide, Piece of Re-useable Material, Founder's Mat, Founder's Card
Forager's Larder Boxes - Providing Biodegradable Packaging for the New Forest Species Palette
Forager's Larder Boxes - Providing Biodegradable Packaging for the New Forest's Edible Species Palette
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