What's On

Songs for a Shifting Soil


  • 22-24 September 2023
  • Bere Regis

This is a past event

What’s good for soil, is good for us.

We don’t often consider it, but the soil beneath our feet is one of the key battlegrounds in the various ecological crises that we face. Healthy soil is the foundation of biodiversity and resilient ecosystems. Pretty much all of our food is directly dependent on our soil. So why do we find it such a tough matter to engage with?

“I haven’t thought a lot about what’s underneath, but I’m beginning to get aware of that more and more. And it wasn’t in my education, you know. And you, when you think back to my child… university days, you know, nobody thought about that, this sort of thing at all.”

As you sit down on warm radiators heated by a glowing, wood-fired altar for our changing climate, Collectief Walden warms you with Songs for a Shifting Soil. Using word-for-word accounts of people who have acquainted themselves with Dorset’s soil in many different ways, we tell a story of reconnecting with the earth we live on.

Wild Woodbury, Dorset’s rewilding area is expected to undergo some dramatic natural changes in the years to come. Songs for a Shifting Soil is an artistic baseline measurement which tracks socio-ecological changes in its communities.

“It’s, I think that it feels more like it’s wet and slimy in Somerset, and it all kind of went squidgy between my toes and things, whereas Dorset’s a bit drier and a bit more like soil rather than mud. And I love, like, the soil coming up between my toes because it just… Yeah, it’s kind of a freeing feeling. You kind of can think when you’re not wearing shoes.”

This is a free ticketed event, please confirm your attendance beforehand using the ‘REGISTER’ button on this page.

Concept and production: Collectief Walden
Libretto: The people of Dorset
Music: Annelinde Bruijs
Singer: Lorna Rees


The festival location has some uneven paved areas but mostly consists of undulating grassland, fields and rough tracks.

On Saturday 23 September there will be Audio Desciption, tactile tours and a BSL interpreter for performances of Songs for a Shifting Soil and Five Seasons. Please meet at the main information desk thirty minutes before the performance for more information.

Volunteers will also be available to provide help and information.

Plan Your Visit

Wild Woodbury, Dorset Wildlife Trust’s rewilding site, Bere Regis, BH20 7LL.
Once on Southbrook Road, the entrance to Wild Woodbury is along a track opposite Elder Road.

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