Supporting the Local Community with Shieling for Shieldfield

A local community group in Shieldfield – Dwellbeing – and Shieldfield Art Works are currently in the process of designing a new community building named ‘Shieling’ and a community garden in Shieldfield Art Works’ grounds. Shieling and the accompanying garden will enable a vast range of activities which are led by, and responsive to, the local community of Shieldfield.

Shieling will be a space to build knowledge about the issues that affect the neighbourhood and enable community activism to tackle the issues. As well as the building being used for many community activities, it will also be a learning space and will house an archive and library of resources which examine and engage with issues of urban development. Both Shieling and the garden will be built with the local community showcasing sustainable and participatory forms of building, using locally sourced, repurposed and ecological materials.

According to the Shieldfield Art Works’ website, the project will have:

  1. A learning and activist space – for building knowledge and planning future action about the critical issues that affect our neighbourhood including land activism, planning, gentrification and housing.

  2. A space for gathering – for children and young people, arts activities, community meals and faith activities;

  3. A green space – for growing food and gardening, relaxing and summer parties.

As ethical partnership are based in the Shieldfield area, we are delighted to be able to offer our planning and consultancy services to the local community and encourage meaningful development within the local area. We are always happy to work with community groups and charities, contact us for more information about the services we can offer.

Interestingly, the name Shieldfield is thought to derive its name from ‘shieling ground’ – a place where people would come and graze their livestock in the summer months. Shieldfield was common land up until 1738 when it was enclosed – with only Shieldfield Green, a small triangular patch – left as common land.

The ‘Shieling’ project refers to the huts that the workers and farmers would live in – self-built, rudimentary huts that would be constructed using whatever they could find lying in the landscape around them. The thought of creating and building a community space that is built from the ground up, using its natural ecology and drawing upon its people, its materiality and its heritage was an interesting idea that we are excited to be working on! With experience working on heritage, planning and community engagement, and with the Dwellbeing project being based so close to our office, we are glad to be involved. 

As part of our work, we are experts in planning for the historic environment, and can assist in applications for listed buildings, heritage statements, as well as many other services linked to conservation, such as objections to unacceptable applications.  Here in the North East we have been involved in projects close to ‘Frontiers of the Roman Empire’ (Hadrian’s Wall) and always work to the highest standards expected for World Heritage Sites, regardless of project.

Contact us to arrange a meeting and we can discuss how to help you with the heritage and conservation of your project.  You can find out more about the services we provide here and the values which drive our business here. You can also follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with the work we do. 

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