N3: Neighbourhood Nature Network
The N3 project was a partnership over three years between the Dorset Design and Heritage Forum, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Dorset AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), Dorset County Council and North Dorset District Council, curated by Ginkgo Projects, Suzanne Heath and Alex Murdin. Its objectives were to:
- Stimulate a greater sense of local ownership of Dorset’s built and natural environment
- Support neighbourhood activism to improve public places and spaces for the benefit of all.
- Demonstrate the value of cross-sector collaboration – public, private and civic sectors – for public art projects.
“We have been very pleased to be part of this innovative project… [as a scientist] why would I be interested in working with artists with a bunch of agendas and no real understanding of the real world ? Why would artists be interested in working with a bunch of tree hugging geeks ? …having a different culture was a fantastic help to getting people to get into our research.” Simon Cripps, Director, Dorset Wildlife Trust
Outputs of the project were:
The new guidance, “Creativity in Community Led Planning” outlining how communities might engage with the planning process more creatively which has been taken notice of nationally as a model of public art’s potential as consultation process within the new localism agenda.
New and reinforced local networks with those concerned with the built and natural environment, generating debate about the role of artists in the planning process and proposals for further information sharing and joint projects – connecting public art in the county to emerging economic, environmental and social agendas (e.g., through cultural tourism, housing and transport projects).
The delivery of four action research projects, work with new commissioners and a range of public engagement:
- Pilot commission for artist involvement in creating a neighbourhood plan - Gillingham Neighbourhood Planning Group and We Made That
- Shared space project for pedestrians and traffic - Dorchester Business Improvement District and Parasite
- Investigation into ecological mitigation for housing development through animal architecture - Synergy Housing and Something and Son
- Non-intrusive interpretation strategies for landscapes – Dorset Wildlife Trust and Screenplay