On the left, land from Dartmoor National Park and on the right, land from terraced house garden, Peckham, London.

How do we imbue value to our surroundings, to the ground below our feet? Where is the distinction between intrinsic and fabricated worth?

 

An area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) is a place designated for its significant landscape value of national importance. They are parcelled in order to “conserve” and “enhance” the landscape. They are symbolic of the loss of the natural in nature, the artifice of conservation, protection, and bettering the natural. Starkly, they represent the disconnect of humans from the landscape. Its value is priceless in some sense, or the value we hold in its preservation.

 

The other cube shows what comes of the earth under the city. The only similarity it shares is its colour, otherwise it is dead and starved. The city breaks from the continuity of landscape, fragmenting into ever smaller enclosures that break from the texture of nature. Its value does not derive from its richness of content or the life it sustains, it is through its location nationally, even globally, its volume is not considered, solely the surface in £ per m².

Conor Ackhurst