With Our Ears to the Ground


With Our Ears to the Ground was project by Proboscis that was commissioned by Green Heart Partnership with Hertfordshire County Council to understand peoples ideas about community.

In mid 2009 Alice Angus and Orlagh Woods travelled around Hertfordshire meeting people from Watford, Stevenage, North Hertfordshire and Broxbourne.  We informally and creatively tried to excavate layers of meaning and understanding to get beneath the surface of some of Hertfordshire’s communities. It was a journey through old and new; market towns, new towns, agricultural land and urban centres getting to know Hertfordshire through the stories of its people. We went to urban centres, rural places, towns and villages, travelling by car, train, cycle and foot. We talked and worked with people in groups, individually, at informal activities on the street,  at a stall in the market, at creative workshops and events, in pubs, cafes, community centres, libraries, inside, outside, at home and at work. From this emerged the six themes of Transport, Movement, Listening, Community, Getting Involved and Perceptions, which form the basis for the book. Our enduring experience was of the generosity of the people, the ambition of their ideas and the determination and commitment they devote to building their communities. The project has informed the Hertfordshire Forward Community Cohesion Strategy, equalities planning across the county, and supported the partners to build stronger communities.

The book draws together the multiple layers of ideas and experiences we found across different communities, its multi layered structure and use of transparent paper is designed to reflect those ideas and voices.

Project website is here

The With Our Ears to the Ground book will go to selected libraries in Hertfordshire, (if you want a copy please get in touch with us). A large print document in .pdf format of the text from the book, to print or use with a text reader, is available here.We have also published the chapters as download print and make up booklets using Bookleteer.  You can download them from these links:

A4 US Letter 2.1MB

Download A4 US Letter 2.6MB

Download A4 US Letter 2.3MB

Download A4 US Letter 2.9MB

Getting Involved
Download A4 US Letter 3.5MB

Download A4 US Letter 3.1MB

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