Lizard Exit Plan : Goonhilly Sector

2019

Commissioned by Goonhilly Village Green, and continuing the ongoing research project – Lizard Exit Plan, this temporary installation was located on a viewing platform overlooking heathland at the Natural England reserve at Goonhilly Downs, Cornwall.

Two new interpretation boards perfectly mimicking existing boards (owned by Natural England) explored a post-collapse resettlement scenario. The first shows a series of metrics for surviving on the heathland. Details included land use plans, food producing plants that can cope with the adverse acidic soil conditions, and grazing regimes and stocking rates for hardy breeds of cattle, with projected figures for potential human occupation rates.

The second board describes the 'tyranny' of the thin acidic soil that faced the disenfranchised people who made several attempts to improve soil quality and establish crofts on the heathland in the 18th and 19th centuries.

In those days, as in contemporary potential collapse scenarios, attempts by landless people to achieve land-based autonomy are made harder by the fact that the land is always already occupied – only the most inhospitable and infertile tracts are left.