Rewilding and War Monuments: Orford Ness, c.1995 to the Present

  • Sophia Davis


Conservation and heritage form the focus of this chapter, through a place that brings together my intertwining themes of nature and militarisation in yet another form. This is Orford Ness, a long, shingle spit home to various forms of military-scientific testing throughout the twentieth century, including an atomic weapons research establishment. After being abandoned in the 1970s, the Ness was bought in 1993 by the National Trust, who view it as a monument to the Cold War. The Trust’s strategy has been to let the various, mysterious buildings there slowly decay and be reclaimed by nature. I use my own experiences, interviews with the site’s managers, and nature writing to investigate conceptualisations of nature and destruction. I explore the way that military science is brought into the heritage industry, contextualising the experience at Orford Ness with ideas of memorialisation and aesthetics.


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophia Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.BerlinGermany

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