Commission

Andrew Merritt (Something & Son)

Intertidal Allotment

A blue/green tinted aerial image of a section of coastline, overlaid with a red tinted image of an allotment, demonstrating the proposed intertidal allotment as seen from above.

Andrew Merritt (Something & Son), Intertidal Allotment (visualisation), 2022.

Intertidal Allotment is long-term project by Andrew Merritt, one half of the artist duo Something & Son, creating a functional artwork and new community allotment on the north coast of Sheppey.

The project takes inspiration from the traditional allotment form and expands it into the intertidal zone – the area of the seashore covered at high tide and uncovered at low tide – where tidal movements create a ‘Goldilocks effect’, allowing biodiverse habitats to form and a variety of organisms, including algae, seaweeds, funguses, edible flora, barnacles, limpets, mussels, crustaceans mosses and lichens, to thrive.

Unique egalitarian spaces, allotments are a rare example of self-build architecture that reuses waste materials. The coast is an area where the sea meets the land, a place of great energy, constant change and rich biodiversity. Intertidal Allotment seeks to embrace these qualities, creating a hospitable environment for people to mix, and new ideas to seed and grow.

Supported by The National Lottery Community Fund through their Climate Action Fund, a two year programme of consultation and collaboration with Isle of Sheppey residents will explore this innovative new model. From spring 2024, a series of walks and workshops will explore the project’s ideas and the natural beauty of Sheppey’s coastline, and a prototype allotment structure will be installed, enabling the impact on the local community and ecosystem to be closely monitored. 

Engaging communities in sustainable food production and biodiversity, the allotment seeks to revitalise traditional methods of food production that have long been part of local coastal heritage and reconnect communities with the land and sea. The aim is to create a modular and sustainable system that responds to the needs of local people, and which can be replicated in other coastal locations.

The project is being delivered in partnership with a range of national and local organisations, including Ideas Test, Swale Borough Council, and Sheppey Matters. The prototype will be monitored by students from the School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent.

Intertidal Allotment is kindly supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and The National Lottery Community Fund. With additional support from Ideas Test, Swale Borough Council, and Kent County Council.

Between March and May 2024, Seagrocers will make its appearance in Sheerness town centre.

This tongue-in-cheek artwork acts as an information point for Intertidal Allotment, inviting people to imagine the possibilities for a new community allotment in the intertidal zone.

Seagrocers borrows the form of a fruit and veg market stall and will pop up in the town centre on market days.

Find Seagrocers at the following locations:

→ The Leas, Minster-on-Sea
Saturday 11 May, 10:00-14:00

→ The Leas, Minster-on-Sea
Wednesday 15 May, 10:00-14:00

→ IslandWorks at Dockyard Church, Sheerness
Saturday 18 May, 10:00-14:00

More dates to follow