COMMON GROUND: PARISH MAP
A different kind of Parish Map could be made locally, drawing on the information collected in the ABC process.
A Parish Map demonstrates what people claim as their own locality and what they value in it. It does not have to be precise or cartographically correct, but by illustrating locally distinctive activities and features, it helps you to focus on the everyday things that make your place significant to you and different from the next. For visitors, a Parish Map offers a new way of looking at a place, and shows a glimpse of the vibrant life behind the obvious.
The great thing about making the map yourselves is that you can choose what to put in and what to leave out. You can decide on how to gather and discuss, the mix of natural history with buildings, or legends with livelihoods, the scale at which you wish to work. It can include the elusive responses which cannot be measured or counted and also the invisible – the stories, dialect, names and fragments of everyone’s history.
Making a Parish Map begins with inclusive gestures and encouraging questions:
· What is important to you about this place, what does it mean to you?
· What makes it different from other places?
· What do you value here?
· What do we know, what do we want to know?
· How can we share our understandings? What could we change for the better?
Turning each other into experts in this way helps to liberate all kinds of quiet knowledge, as well as passion about the place. In this sense, making a Parish Map can inform, inspire, embolden.