The Pigsty Bradwell on Sea, Essex
The project involved the conversion of a scrubby area on the grounds of the Othona Community, for the purpose of nature study. It lies adjacent to a pond which was originally dug for fire safety purposes, but is now a haven for wildlife. A dilapidated pigsty has been adapted as an education area, using the original stone walls of the pigsty, and replacing the roof and entrance doors. Adjoining the former pigsty, a courtyard seating area has been created, and from this a boardwalk leads to dipping platforms. The courtyard uses the existing stone walls of the space in front of the old 1970's pigsty, building up the walls with timber hit-and-miss battens. A separate bird hide has also been built. The structures have been built in a way that does not detract from the character of the area. The boardwalk has been printed with shadows of phragmites. The design was drawn up by community artist Angenita Hardy-Teekens as part of her MA Sculptural Practice, architect Susanne Kelly and Peter Baird builder and site manager. The work was carried out by volunteers working in Othona.
The Othona Community is located nearby the 7th century Chapel of St Peter on the Wall, itself a recycled building constructed from the remains of the Othona roman fort. The community is off grid, producing 75% of its electricity from wind and solar power. Sewerage is treated by a reed bed system . The aim of this project was the rejuvenation of an overgrown and neglected pond area adjacent to the reed beds to make it accessible for activities like pond dipping, bird observing, and bug hunting. Creating an economic resource for this Community whilst serving the aims of stewardship for the environment.
The Project includes:
" Restoring an old pigsty into a resource room.
" Designing the parkland around the resource room, clearing it, making paths and access/egress points.
" Restoring the pond to a more varied bio diverse habitat, clearing the reeds and replanting.
" Writing and setting up a maintenance plan for the pond and reed beds.
" Designing outdoor educational information boards.
" Involving the Othona Community in the process via Art workshops.
" Holistically considering all elements of the project in a creative, artistic and sensitive aesthetic way and bringing it to a conclusion with a grand opening on the 2nd June 2016.
" To bring a fresh and new narrative with the landscape to the community within the aims of the project.