Youth Landscapers are a group of young people from Donisthorpe and Moira who have come together to research and map The Heart of the Forest as part of Black to Green.
Between January 2016 – March 2017, the young people worked closely with artist Jo Wheeler and film maker Ian Nesbitt.
In the first phase the group gathered material relating to the natural, industrial and social history of the Heart of the Forest. This included a walk with local historian Dot Morson, a tour of Moira Furnace Museum, a canal boat trip along Ashby Canal, identifying local wildlife, visiting Moira Replan to look at heritage photos and maps and meeting with members of The South Derbyshire Mining Preservation Society. In response to these visits and activities Youth Landscapers created an imaginative exhibition which was presented at Moira Furnace over the summer.
For the second phase the group created a short film, ‘Under The Trees The Coal And The Clay’, which explores our landscape history and the pits, potteries and pipe yards of the past. After deciding who to involve in the film, the group worked intensively over the October half term spending the mornings interviewing residents about their memories and experiences of the local coal and clay industries. In the afternoons the group went out on walks around the local area, exploring, filming the landscape and filming each other.
On 11 March 2017 Youth Landscapers hosted a celebratory event at Moira Village Hall which was attended by approx. 70 people. The group decorated the hall with the artworks they produced and presented a film screening including two local archive films, followed by the premiere of ‘Under The Trees the Coal And The Clay’.
To find out more about Youth Landscapers check out their blog.