Botanics at the Edinburgh Fringe: 1000 miniature meadows
A new opportunity to connect people with nature has been snapped up by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s (RBGE) Urban Biodiversity and Resilience Officer, Dr Emma Bush, who is taking part in a soundscape for an unusual, but fascinating new Edinburgh Fringe event. Atypical for the Fringe, 1000 miniature meadows can be experienced at any time, and anywhere in the city.
1000 miniature meadows combines a collection of letters and a sound project with a city wide planting initiative. The journey begins at the Pleasance Courtyard where participants collect a listening pack before experiencing an intimate soundscape, expert interviews and a conversation with a bumblebee. This event provides a fresh viewpoint on Scotland’s biodiversity crisis via sound. The ambitious project seeks to invade our outdoor areas and investigate our relationship with biodiversity and nature. One thousand wildflower meadows will be planted as part of this project throughout Edinburgh.
The show’s creator’s Shanna May Breen and Luke Casserly explained: "1000 Miniature Meadows was originally made for an Irish audience in 2020 and has been gathering momentum ever since. This year we were delighted to be supported by Culture Ireland to redevelop the project for Edinburgh Fringe. Over the past months, we have met with a web of masterful Scottish-based biodiversity experts to recompose this sound experience.
“Speaking with Dr Emma Bush, a research scientist at RBGE has been a highlight of 1000 Miniature Meadows. Her project The Good City examines nature in cities through collaborations with young people and is incredible local research that will impact cities worldwide."
Emma Bush, who designed the Good City project, has been working with secondary school pupils to help make urban spaces greener. Five Edinburgh schools are working with RBGE to learn about nature-based solutions to challenges such as climate change and to share their thoughts for urban spaces that are environmentally friendlier. This project has engaged over 400 pupils in activities and conversations about their hopes for a future greener city.
When asked about her involvement in 1000 miniature meadows, Emma said: “At RBGE, our mission is to explore, conserve and explain the world of plants for a better future. We believe it is important to support creative initiatives that spread the word about Scotland’s biodiversity, and our place in it. We hope that the project’s soundscape allows festival goers to pause and reflect on the rich natural world that we are part of (yes, even here in the city!) and all the ways we can help make it better.”
1000 Miniature Meadows is a project created by Shanna May Breen and Luke Casserly, with sound design by Sam Hardiman. 1000 Miniature Meadows was originally commissioned as part of Dublin Fringe Festival: Pilot Light Edition 2020. Following a sell-out run, the project toured nationally in 2021, and is now being remade for Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2023. The project is supported by Culture Ireland.
The event takes place at the Pleasance Courtyard (Info Shed) and Listening Pack Collection is available between 11am - 7pm each day. The project runs from 12 – 28 August and lasts approximately 55 minutes. Tickets are £10.00 / £8.00.
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