Open Ground was set up to respond
creatively and positively to the increasingly urgent social and environmental
issues which we face. Through place-based education and research, we can make
sure our actions, at work, in our community or at home, arenít destroying the
places which we depend on. Engaging with our local landscape increases our
health and the health of the places where we live.
Open Ground works from a strong values
base, here are some of the points of our ethos:
Changes should be motivated by
care not fear – Open Ground runs projects to learn about and enjoy
the landscape and explore how we fit into it. We do this in the natural
environment not in a lecture hall or watching a t.v. screen. This bases
experience and undertanding on personal experiences, rather than prophesies
Human minds and bodies fit into
natural systems – we have evolved in nature for the vast majority of our human
existence, so interactions with nature are natural to us. It is
important to explore our human place in the world, rather than set up a big
distinction between us and nature. This happens through exploring human stories
and landscapes and our interaction with places for better or worse.
Start with where you are – our local places,
both urban and rural provide a realistic scale to interact with, and a
context through which to understand wider problems. While trips away
are great, learning to see where we live in new ways anchors our understanding
and motivation in places we can be involved with on a daily basis.
Our health and the health of our
landscapes are intimately linked – Open Ground works with children and
teachers to physically and emotionally explore the life and history of the
landscape, bringing into focus the quality of our relationships, both natural
and social. Learning about sensitive connection to natural systems
through our food, our recreation, and our work allows both nature and human
nature to flourish.
We are all responsible – there are no simple
solutions, our interconnection with the environment is inevitably both
positive and negative. But becoming more aware of our places brings
them back into our lives, and we are heathier for it.