So, what did 2020 hold for the Boundary Way Project?
The earlier months of the year were typically quieter months for the Boundary Way Project calendar, with the seasonal nature of the site, we hunted for mushrooms, recorded the allotment’s changed through photography and hatched plans for the coming months. Unfortunately, planning was halted in March with the announcement of COVID-19 and the beginning of the first lockdown. Plot holders remained able to visit their plots, but as a team we were unable to visit the allotment and missed it dearly through the spring months – remembering it through sharing images on our Instagram for 30 days consecutively as part of the Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild Campaign. It wasn’t all doom and gloom through, as June bought exciting starts for the project…
The project received some emergency funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help us keep moving forward over the next few months and to make exciting plans for the future. As part of this funding and its subsequent extension we kept up our presence, sharing nature connection inspiration and built up to sharing our exciting Postcards from the Plot Project with you all.
Postcards from the Plot was a creative project that explored the meaning and importance of allotments today. There were activities, workshops and inspiring stories from growers across Wolverhampton and beyond, from cooking and allotment printmaking films to botanical ink and herbal workshops. The idea behind the project was make connections within our city and beyond and share stories about how allotments supported our wellbeing during lockdown. We certainly found a new way to connect with our audience and an exciting new focus for the project during a difficult year.
Other summer highlights included taking part in the Big Butterfly Count and celebrating the best week of the year, National Allotments Week! As the autumn came and the pandemic unfortunately continued on, the Boundary Way Project received the exciting news of the awarding of funding from the Culture Recovery Fund for heritage, distributed by the governments, to enable us to continue the development of our virtual learning programme. This programme, which we continue to share, is valuably exploring creative ways of connecting with the natural world in current times and beyond and bringing people together online despite the situation. It has fittingly taken the title of Winter Wonder through the cold months.
Finally this Winter, we were so excited to pilot our very first online Virtual Artist Residency exploring accessible ways of learning using digital platforms. We were delighted to be working with participatory artist Hannah Ayre, who explored creativity, nature connection and wellbeing with Key Stage 3 pupils at Penn Fields School, with great success. What a way to end the year!
Happy New Year!