A New Kind of Commons explores the idea of the Commons and its meaning for us today. Is the Commons just a piece of shared land or is it more than that?

In the past, Commons were areas of land that provided fuel, food, and shared resources, for communities to live and work from. In the 20th Century, it seemed as though such shared spaces were no longer necessary, as they became replaced by supermarkets and a culture that was focused on consumption rather than valuing what we create for ourselves. In the 21st Century the Commons are coming back in a new form as many people and communities are realising both the benefit and need for local shared resources. What will the Commons of the 21st Century be? It might include the land we share, but also our housing, and all the energy and resources we need to live by, but the Commons is also a way of understanding ourselves, and the common histories that make a community.

A series of walks took place during the project that provided an opportunity for local participants to explore a new kind of Commons in Kinson, Townsend and West Howe. These walks used photography and sound recording as a way of capturing and presenting responses to the areas and ideas of A New Kind of Commons.

The photography and sound recording walks took place in March, 2010, see the 'slide show' links in each section below for a selection of images and sounds related to each area.

The sounds and ideas discussed from these walk events will be used to create a 'sound walk' for each area. A sound walk is a planned walk with a soundtrack that accompanies it. People can listen to the soundtrack as they follow the route of the walk and explore the areas. The maps and audio for each walk will be available to download for free from this website to put on your own media player. The local libraries in each area will have media players and copies of the maps that people can borrow. You will also be to listen to the sound walk directly from this website where it will be accompanied by a slide show of photographs created during the project.


Townsend is part of Holdenhurst, an old farming village with a history that stretches back many centuries. Its heart is a modern housing estate that grew as part of the post-war development of Bournemouth, built on some of the old farm lands. It has a vibrant community that has created many local facilities, such as the community garden and local football team. Townsend is a modern-day Commons, a space created and shared by those who live there.


Meet at 10am at the front of Townsend Community Centre at Jewell Road, Bournemouth, postcode: BH8 0LT.

By car:
Townsend is on the North East side of Bournemouth. Turn off Castle Lane West (A3060) at Ibbertson Road, not far from the junction with the Wessex Way (A338). Drive up Ibbertson Road to the junction with Throop Road and Jewell Road, turn right to get onto Jewell Road. Once on Jewell Road you will see a set of buildings to the right, set back from the road behind the bus stop. The Community Centre is next door to the One Stop shop.

By bus:
Take the 2a or 2b bus, coming from Kinson or from Bournemouth town centre. Get off at Jewell Road. You will see a set of buildings grouped together with a car park not far from the bus stop. The Community Centre is next door to the One Stop shop.

online map

Local links:

Townsend community website
Website for news, events and groups in the Townsend area.

The Community Arts & Music Project (TCAMP)
TCAMP provides free training for performing arts, aiming to develop real life skills as well bringing great fun to the community. They put on regular shows for the public to come and enjoy the talent in the community.


Turbary Common is an area of heathland at the lower end of West-Howe, and was once part of a much larger area that was known as Bankes Heath. It contained a pottery works, brickworks and local farms, and was a traditional site for a local Gypsy-Traveller community, known by some as 'New England'. The name 'Turbary' refers to the Turbary Rights, a law that gives people the right to collect fuel materials from the heath. It contains many rare species of plants and wildlife.


Meet at 10am at the main entrance to Turbary Common on Turbary Park Avenue. The main entrance is about half-way along Turbary Park Avenue, is sign-posted, and has notice boards.

By car:
Turbary Common lies along Turbary Park Avenue. Turbary Park Avenue can be reached from Ringwood Road (A348) on the west or Kinson Road on the east. Heading north on Ringwood Road turn right onto Poole Lane, at roundabout just after Dominion Road. Drive along Poole Lane then turn right onto Turbary Park Avenue. Go past the entrance to the industrial estate at Elliot Road and the main entrance to Turbary Common is on your right hand side not much further along. There is a small amount of car parking space at the entrance, otherwise you will need to find a spot on the nearby streets.

By bus:
Take the 5a bus from Bournemouth town centre or from Kinson. If you are coming from Townsend you will need to take the 2a or 2b bus and change at Kinson. Get off the 5a at the bottom end of Fernheath Road. Follow Fernheath Road downhill. At the bottom, Turbary Park Avenue curves off to the left and you will see the Common on the far side of it - do not go to the entrance here. Walk along Turbary Park Avenue with the Common on your left hand side. About half-way along you will come to the main entrance which has signs and a notice board.

online map

Local links:

Friends of Turbary Common
Local voluntary group for everyone interested in the wildlife and care of Turbary Common.

Turbary Common photographs
Flickr group for Turbary Common.

The Durzet Baird
Website for local poet Raymond Wills who has written about life on the Commons.


Kinson Common is part of an area of heath and farm land that has been in use for centuries, long before the town of Bournemouth came into being. It includes grazing areas and old wood coppices, and nowadays is an area full of wildlife and a number of rare plant species.


Meet 10am at the main entrance to Kinson Common, on Kinson Road, opposite the junction with Brook Road, not far from the swimming pool. There are notice boards at the entrance area.

By car:
Kinson Road lies between the Wimborne Road (A341) and Wallisdown Road (A3049). The Common is at the top end nearer to Wimborne Road. The main entrance to the Common is on Kinson Road, opposite the junction with Brook Road. It is not far from the Kinson Swimming Pool, where it is possible to park your car. Access to the Kinson Swimming Pool car park is from South Kinson Drive.

By bus:
To get to Kinson from Bournemouth town centre, you can take buses 2a, 2b, 4a, 5a or 5b. To come from Townsend take the 2a or 2b. Get off at the bus stop by Kinson Village Green, on Milhams Road, off Wimborne Road (this is the terminus for all of the bus routes except for 4a which carries on to Bearwood). Cross Wimborne Road to Kinson Road. Walk down Kinson Road, the Common will be on your left hand side. You will see the entrance to the Common towards the lower end of the Common, opposite Brook Road and near the swimming pool and its car park.

online map

Local links:

Friends of Kinson Common
Web site for the local voluntary group for everyone interested in the wildlife and care of Kinson Common.

Kinson Common photographs
Flickr group for Kinson Common.

Moonfleet of Kinson
History, wildlife and maps from Kinson Common and the Kinson area.



A New Kind of Commons is part of Digital Transformations, an arts project using photography, film, sound, mapping, creative writing, web design and exhibition to raise the profile of the communities, Kinson, Townsend and West Howe in Bournemouth.

For further details, please contact SCAN:

  telephone: 01202 961451

  email: info@scansite.org

  website: http://www.scansite.org

Digital Transformations is co-ordinated by SCAN with Bournemouth Libraries and Arts and Bournemouth Adult Learning. It is funded and supported by:

SCAN - click to view website - opens in a new window The Learning Revolution - click to view website - opens in a new window Bournemouth University - click to view website - opens in a new window Bournemouth Council - click to view website - opens in a new window