“Private ownership of the earth did not depend on the law, but was created by human toil” - John Locke, 1629

During a 6 week residency on the Dartington Estate, I investigated Land Ownership and how to create belonging within the natural world. I built a secret den and slept out in the forest. I also created a track based on folk song, field recordings and spoken word.


I searched for a spot to build my den in the forest. I felt anxious, questioning my legitimacy to be there, scared someone might see me and tell me to leave. I found a secret spot, hidden by a large fallen tree, where two smaller fallen trees leant together, holding each other up - the beginning of a den: nature’s invitation.

I began to build, with only my hands for tools, dragging logs of wood, fitting them together, interlocking branches woven with sticks and vines. As I returned, day after day, the initial fear melted away, this patch was my patch, I belonged here.

When I strode out into the night to sleep in my den, I was not fearful, I was returning home. I hung a blanket up across the open door and snuggled up in a sleeping bag, cocooned in the woven wood, drifting in the sea of song of forest and dreams.

To visit the Secret Den,

start at:

Dartington Hall,
Totnes TQ9 6EL