Urban Feral

You might think that we spend all our time up trees from reading our blurb. Yet going feral is a state of mind that is at home anywhere. We’re interested in how feralism exists in urban environments. After all, virginal wilderness is a) a myth and b) not on a bus route.

In 2012 we spent some time developing the Urban Feral Wing. This involved doing some play experiments in urban spaces. It was a curious thing to play with the edges of public space, social norms, playful possibilities and nature in the city. Mel’s feral heroes became the tramps who inhabit city streets in a very different and survivalist way, one of them using the fountains in Bristol city centre to drink and wash.

Mel was inspired by the book Edgelands (by Michael Symmons Roberts and Paul Farley) to locate some and explore their possibilities. Edgelands are the spaces inbetween urban and rural – peri-urban as the planners say. They can be feral nature reserves and wildlife corridors, housing more biodiversity than most managed rural land. The sides of a motorway provides a home to lots of species. The brownfield site next to the housing estate is, for some children, their only opportunity to directly experience the natural world under the concrete. There is a large quantity of edgeland, more accessible to urbanites than rural land and certainly more real. The potential has not been investigated. This is very exciting, don’t you think?

Here is a guided walk suitable for families and adults that you can invite to an edgeland near you:

Edgeland Walk

Be prepared to challenge normality on a creative walk through the lesser-spotted world of the edgelands between town and countryside. Feral animals are drawn to the edgelands, a place where many species make their home. What happens here? How do you survive here? What stories does it tell of our lives and others?

On this interactive guided walk, we will explore using our senses and imagination. Going feral frees us from our domestic habitat. We invite you to experience the everyday anew, using your senses, including your sense of humour, even your sense of survival. You can join in. There will be plenty for the creative to do and plenty for those who like to watch. There will be words worded, songs sung, acts acted and moves moved.

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