KERDROYA is a major new piece of permanent public art – a 50m diameter classical labyrinth built of Cornish stone hedging at Colliford Lake on Bodmin Moor. The visitor walks a single, meandering path through stretches of artisan stonework celebrating the aesthetics of distinct hedging styles from 12 Cornish locations. At the centre, a 10m circular space opens out to breath-taking views across the moorland and lake.
Kerdroya is the successful bid for the ‘Diamond Landscapes’ commission celebrating 60 years of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and 4,000 years of the humble Cornish hedge. Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, FEAST and Cornwall Heritage Trust, the project has also been working with communities and partners in 12 AONB sections across Cornwall to pass on the craft of Cornish hedging to the next generation, whilst restoring 12 stretches of hedge in iconic locations.
Of all the human-created features of our landscape, first prize for impact, beauty and function (as well as geological, ecological and cultural significance) goes to the Cornish hedge. Claimed to be amongst the oldest human-built structures in the world still in use for their original purpose, some hedges are perhaps more than 4,000 years old. With locally distinctive building styles celebrating the micro-geology of place, our hedges create the characteristic field-patterns of the Cornish landscape. There are about 30,000 miles of hedge across Cornwall today: vital nature reserves, linking corridors that connect all 12 AONBs with each other and through time with their pre-farming species range. With the recent near-catastrophic decrease in pollinators, hedges, which function as a reservoir for tens of thousands of species of insect (plus 600 species of flowering plants), are of critical importance.
In partnership with the Cornwall AONB Partnership, National Trust, Pigshill & Clarrick Woods CIC, South West Water and other landowners, we identified 12 stretches of Cornish hedge, each in need of conservation and repair. Throughout the summer of 2019, local master hedgers worked with community groups and schools to pass on the knowledge and skills to create a diverse team of ‘Hedge Stewards’. We also hosted community lectures in village halls across Cornwall, working with Senior Archaeologist Ann Reynolds BA MCIFA from Cornwall Council to give illustrated talks on ‘The Hidden Value of the Humble Cornish Hedge’.
The Kerdroya labyrinth construction takes place throughout 2020, and will be open to the public in November 2020. If you’re interested in partnering with us or helping to fund the project, please email email@example.com.
“The Kerdroya project is an inspired piece of conservation that combines art, craft and the natural world – as the Cornish hedges themselves do. They are one of Cornwall’s great unsung wonders, and they are in need of attention. After a day jigsawing stones out on the cliff with a master hedger, I’m going home to try and repair my own.”
– Philip Marsden, Author
“Just to say how much our pupils have enjoyed working on this amazing Cornish hedge project. Thank you very much – events like this add real diversity and value to our curriculum!”
– Ms Talbot, Grade-Ruan School