This is an informal space for the sharing of work in progress; an incidental archive-in-the-making. It follows an experimental study of the intersection of human and nonhuman animal cultures, as mobilised in the figure of the common crane (Grus grus) at two wetland sites: The Severn Estuary and the Huleh Valley. Critical stopover habitats for migrating birds on the two intercontinental flyways of western Eurasia (The North Atlantic Seaboard and the Jordan Rift Valley), these sites were substantially reduced through centralised drainage schemes – the Severn wetlands in the early modern period, and the Huleh starting in 1951, after the establishment of the State of Israel. Both became valedictions of state engineering and infrastructural modernism, ultimately leading to the incremental restoration of wetland habitats.
The research is practice-led, combining field drawing and archival research with conversations in situ. The study takes place as part of a doctoral research project in cultural geography at the University of Bristol, UK. It is funded by the AHRC South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, and is associated with the Figure in the Landscape research cluster and the Beastly Histories research group, among others. It is supervised by Dr JD Dewsbury and Dr Merle Patchett (University of Bristol) and Professor Owain Jones (Bath Spa University).