A new project by Andrew Merritt to create a functional artwork that helps sustain communities and ecosystems for the long term.
Intertidal Allotment is a new community allotment on the north coast of Sheppey. It will span the intertidal zone, the area of the seashore which is covered at high tide and uncovered at low tide. In this zone a ‘Goldilocks effect’ is created by the tide’s movement – neither ‘too little’ disturbance, nor ‘too much’ – permitting a biodiverse habitat to form in which algae, seaweeds, funguses, edible flora, barnacles, limpets, mussels, crustaceans mosses and lichens grow wild.
The project takes inspiration from the traditional allotment form and expands it into the intertidal zone, in the process re-engaging communities with their coastline and its potential as a place for recreation and food production. Allotments are egalitarian spaces and 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 by creating a place for people to mix, a hospitable environment in which new ideas can seed and grow.
The project aims to create a modular structure that can be replicated elsewhere, and a book of recipes for a new kind of allotment: an allotment that exists at our country’s edge, where sea and land meet.