ACE signs new art agreement with Forestry Commission

Arts Council England and Forestry Commission England have agreed a new four year partnership to boost art in England’s Forests.



According to ACE, the new deal will bring cutting-edge projects and programmes to forest settings.


The new partnership, from 2016-2020, expands the two organisations’ earlier agreement in 2012, which led to the creation of the Forest Art Works programme.


That programme included Jerwood Open Forest, funded through a major new partnership with Jerwood Charitable Foundation. It also included In the Eyes of the Animal, a 360 degree virtual reality experience created by Abandon Normal Devices and immersive experience studio Marshmallow Laser Feast. The project toured internationally and featured in this year’s Sundance Film Festival.


Simon Hodgson, chief executive of Forestry Commission England, said “Woods and forests are an important part of England’s cultural history and it is important that they are a part of our contemporary arts. Artists gain insight and inspiration from their interactions with woods and forests and audiences gain new experiences through engagement with art in forest environments.


Darren Henley OBE, Arts Council England CEO said, “The development of a long term relationship with Forestry Commission England gives us exciting new opportunities to help people experience this, wherever they live in the country. These kinds of collaborations stretch the boundaries of the work that is produced, reflecting the diverse and rich landscape and society we live in.”


The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and is soon to launch two major new works by artists Henry Castle and Pomona Zipser supported by the Arts Council’s Grants for the Arts programme. Other forest-based arts projects are:


Alice Holt Forest, Surrey, Semiconductor’s first ever public sculpture Cosmo, commissioned through the first edition of the Jerwood Open Forest.


Grizedale Forest, Cumbria, the UK's first forest for sculpture in the heart of the Lake District National Park. Visit artworks sited across the whole network of forest trails as well as changing exhibitions; the Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year 2016 opens in September.


Kielder Water & Forest Park, Northumberland, home to the unique Kielder Art & Architecture programme. The largest forest in the country, both cycling and walking trails offer expansive routes on which to discover the many architectural shelters and art installations.


Sutton Manor is home to Dream by Jaume Plensa, commissioned with involvement of the ex-miners of this former colliery site where Forestry Commission England has planted over 50,000 trees since 2002. As well as one of the tallest sculptures in the country, Sutton Manor offers extensive views across Cheshire and Lancashire to Snowdonia and the Peak District.


The full Memorandum of Understanding can be seen on



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