A project of Unique Publications
I am hoping that the shop will become a small community hub, to be used by people interested in the river and its environment; and also people campaigning or in other ways working to mitigate the growing crisis affecting our climate and ecology, and interested in creating a more resilient and sustainable community here in Glastonbury.
As part of this, I am proposing to use it – out of hours – as a 'micro-venue', and I am looking to make contact with actors, musicians, storytellers and other performers who would be interested in taking part in small-scale performances. These would not be restricted to the River Brue as subject matter, nor even to rivers generally, though I am asking that they should support Mother Earth in her present time of need. I am also open to other creative ideas that would fit with the project's ethos.
My starting point has been the river's depleted state and its history, which includes being cut off from the River Axe and its original outflow to the sea at Brean Down. In my book The River I described it as being once a substantial river, then a canal, and now a drain. Its medieval redirection, which divided what was once one river into two and separated the Brue's source from its original mouth, has become for me an allegory for our own state of separation – from each other, from the natural world, and from our own essential nature – a state that is at the root of the emergency that we now face.
My personal relationship to the River Brue now extends to five years, during which time I have written and published three books about or related to our local river. My intention is to write one more, which will be specifically focussed on action and based on the experience of the 'Rehabilitation Board'.
The 12-month project is using premises at The Old Clinic in St John's Square, and is open to the public until November next year. It is dedicated to the River Brue and to related environmental matters, and it will provide information about different aspects of the river. Leaflets so far available deal with river pollution, the River Brue and climate change, the lowered water table due to pumping and drainage, deforestation and flooding, the medieval redirection of the Brue, our disappearing sacred landscape, and the future possibility of rewilding the river. All my books are also available.
The River Brue Rehabilitation Board is at 10 St John's Square, Glastonbury; other than by special arrangement it will keep to formal office hours, 9 am to 5 pm, Mondays to Fridays. For more information see the website: www.unique-publications.co.uk/river-brue-rehabilitation-board.html