The Clearing is a vision of the future in the grounds of Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park

Caretaker report

29 April 2017

Katie, Rob, Zach and Elfric

A lot to think about


Our stay was amazing. We loved it. I was toying with the idea of making a little home in the old willow tree, to stay forever . There were masses of visitors. At one point we had a bus load in from London! At first it was a bit bonkers, but we met some really interesting people, and it was wonderful to see and hear their reaction to the space and discuss thoughts of a possible future. We also had repeat little visitors so that was good: my two had lots of play mates. It has given us a lot to think about.

We put the soil in the bed, and were kindly donated some plants from the allotment. I also put more seeds in the covered beds so they need a good water and planted a load of herbs by the veggie garden. We built a herb-drying rack too – the grounds of Compton Verney are full of wild herbs, so makes sense to use them! Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to stay, it really was something special and a far cry from our life in the town. I have felt like opening the door and welcoming people in off the street for a chat though!

Zach (Age 11):

Staying at the dome was an amazing experience. We cooked beans and potatoes on the outdoor fire and even made our own firelighters out of pinecones and wax. We helped Dad chop wood to make the dome even warmer, and the straw and old clothes insulation proved very successful.Each caretaker before us had left something they had made or done behind. We put up some useful hooks for the pots and pans, Mum left some herbs drying for tea, and we also left a very healthy wood pile! I saw loads of wildlife and played football in the woods and on the path, although most of the time we were fishing the ball out of the lake.

Elfric (Age 7):

The Geodome was fun and exciting, the view was so amazing to wake up to! In the dome it was so cosy and comfy. We had a whole coachload of people come and look around one day. Our football went in the river lots of times, and we had to use sticks to get it out. At night in the dome it was hot, and I heard lots of animal noises. Helping chop wood with the small axe was cool.