When the Future Machine and the Bell Come to Somerset

The Future Machine and the Tree Charter Bell will appear in the village of Cannington, as part of a a procession and a tree planting ceremony. Artist Caroline Locke will collaborate with Rachel Jacobs in Cannington and Kilve on the Somerset Levels.

Caroline’s Tree Charter Bell is used in socially engaged ceremonies to plant trees as part of the Woodland Trust’s bid to build a mass movement of people for woods and trees. Native woods and trees are one of the best ways to tackle the climate crisis and Caroline’s socially engaged projects assist the trusts pledge to plant 50 million trees over the next five years, helping to put the UK on track to meet its carbon net-zero target.

Rachel and Caroline will be working with the Parish Council, Cannington Church Bell Ringers, Cannington Primary School and Horticultural College, and the Woodland Trust.

Cannington village and parish is in the region of the Somerset levels, where 240 square miles of the land are below sea level, adding to the risk and impact of flooding and sea level rises. The village is in a coastal plain and wetland area. After the floods of 2013 and 2014 management has been undertaken and the flood risk has been reduced, yet the future remains uncertain with high risks of increased rain fall, rising sea levels, coastal erosion, increased housing developments and park & rides on farm land, higher levels of pollution from the new bypass built to support the expansion of the nuclear power station Hinckley PointC and risks to the power station itself if the sea levels rise. These changes have created an increasingly diverse community with sometimes conflicting perspectives on the future of the village.

‘When the Future Machine and the Bell Come to Cannington’ has developed from Caroline’s experience and knowledge of growing up in the village. Caroline’s Father won awards for his community service. He created the playing fields on the edge of the village, to support team building and the communities health and well-being. The sense of community and a meaningful and shared culture in the village is now at risk. The playing fields are now unused, its carpark facilitates a park and ride for people who work at the nearby Hinckley Point nuclear power station. Discussions have started about the future of the field that the artists will be taking part in. Already, the decreasing involvement of the new and changing population of the village with community activities effects the sports and music activities, bell ringing and local conservation groups that traditionally supported and brought the local community together.

Caroline Locke's tree charter bell on a wooden frame with trees in the background
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