Institute for Social Responsibility


CULTIVATE is an arts-based research project currently taking place at Burscough Community Farm, led by Dr Barnaby King (Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at Edge Hill University) and Dr Victoria Foster (I4P Associate Director – External Networking). It is supported by Edge Hill University’s Research Investment Fund and it consolidates and develops an exciting and innovative programme of activity that the researchers have established at Burscough Community Farm over the past 18 months supported by I4P.

The one-year project unites academic research with community activism and the arts in novel and potentially transformative ways. It aims to develop new knowledge of people’s experience of volunteering at community agriculture initiatives and of the potential for arts-based activities to enhance such initiatives and their sustainability.

Burscough Community Farm (BCF) is a local farm with a radical social purpose. Based on the CSA (community-supported agriculture) model, it seeks to foster local food networks in which consumers understand and actively engage with the production of what they eat, as well as with its environmental, therapeutic and health implications.

The project launched in Spring 2018 with a series of Creative Writing workshops, the first led by Carol Fenlon, local novelist and freelance writer whose PhD is from EHU. The Summer phase of the project is focused on Mindful Movement with workshops led by Molly Jaeger. In Autumn 2018, the project will turn to natural sculpture using materials sourced on the farm. The Winter phase will concentrate on participatory photography. These artistic methods are enabling participants to explore their experiences of nature and growing (food and friendships) at the farm in ways that might not be captured through more conventional research methods.

Related Links:

‘Samhain Celebrations at Burscough Community Farm’

The I4P-supported Samhain event at the end of October 2017 celebrated this collaboration between Edge Hill University and the farm. Samhain marks the end of the harvest season. It is a time to reflect on past achievements and to look forward to the new cycle of growth. In this sense the event also anticipated the work that will be happening in the spring.  The event was attended by an invited group drawn from the local community, particularly those networks that have been built up over the past eighteen months. Participants of all ages spiritedly joined in the celebrations.  Read more about the event…

‘Sowing Seeds – Walk the Plank and Burscough Community Farm’

Screening, Exhibition and Q&A – Sowing Seeds is the photographic documentation of an Arts Council funded performance which took place earlier this year.

Edge Hill University students, graduates and members of the West Lancashire community developed and delivered a live processional piece encompassing mass movement, music and puppetry at Burscough Community Farm.

Collaborating with the Learning Division of acclaimed outdoor arts company Walk the Plank, the performance takes the audience on a journey to explore the elements, the natural world and sustainability.  More Information about the event

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