Landscape change in a brownfield site
What is it about?
Can the idea of the palimpsest be applied to the development of a brownfield site? Rainham Marshes on the Thames Estuary was once a rifle range owned by the Ministry of Defence. It has now been developed as a bird reserve by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. How do visitors perceive this landscape? Do they understand the history of the site? What memories are conjured up by this landscape? What stories do they tell and how do these help them to understand Rainham Marshes?
Why is it important?
There is pressure to redevelop brownfield industrial and former military sites for housing. The value these sites have for local communities and for wildlife is often overlooked. This paper examines different user interpretations of Rainham Marshes in the light of recent history. It demonstrates how the physical traces and artefacts, the topography, memories and the relationship with the surrounding area all play an important part in these interpretations.
The following have contributed to this page: Catherine Heatherington