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NEWS RELEASE No: 166016 JULY 2016

New National Arts Development Programme Manager for Forestry Commission England

Hayley Skipper

To drive forward the development of high-quality and innovative artworks in England’s national woods and forests, Forestry Commission England has appointed Hayley Skipper as their new National Arts Development Programme Manager.

Leading on the new four year partnership between Arts Council England and Forestry Commission England, Hayley will build on the successes of the initial Forest Art Works programme, developing projects and programmes that will reach new arts audiences and inspire new audiences to engage with England’s woods and forests.

Hayley Skipper says,

“I am passionate about the environment and public engagement with high-quality arts practice. I look forward to leading our national Forest Art Works programme into its next exciting chapter through developing and supporting cultural partnership projects across the woods and forests we care for.

“This is an exciting time for arts development across England’s national woods and forests. Signing our new Memorandum of Understanding with Arts Council England will enable us to develop plans from 2016-2020. I am thrilled to be working with partners, artists and teams across the country to create ambitious and innovative work that breaks new ground for both artists and audiences. Woods and forests are an important part of England's cultural history and it is important that they are part of our contemporary arts.”

This appointment opens up an exciting new opportunity for an Arts Development manager in Grizedale. For more information on this role and other careers within the Forestry Commission visit


Notes to editors:
1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Further information can be found at

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.

2. Hayley Skipper led the establishment of the Forest Art Works programme across artforms, across England. As Curator of Arts Development for Forestry Commission England, she was responsible for developing and commissioning new public programmes and initiatives for forest environments, artists and audiences including co-founding Jerwood Open Forest. She has initiated and delivered numerous collaborative and public projects. Formerly she helped establish The Engine Room an international research centre for knowledge transfer at the University of the Arts London. Firmly committed to all forms of collaboration, engagement and education, Hayley holds a Double First in Fine Art Sculpture, Masters with Distinction in Fine Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design and a PG Cert in Teaching and Learning in Art and Design in Higher Education, University of the Arts London. Hayley is also a Trustee at Art Gene and a regular selector and judge for the Royal Horticultural Society.

Since 2012 Hayley Skipper has combined establishing the Forest Art Works programme with leading the sculpture programme in Grizedale Forest - The UK's First Forest for Sculpture. This appointment opens up an exciting opportunity for an Arts Development Manager at Grizedale Forest in Cumbria.

3. Forest Art Works is the partnership between Arts Council England and Forestry Commission England to support achieving great art and culture for everyone in England’s public forests.

4. England’s Top 5 places to visit Forest Art Works:

• Alice Holt Forest, Surrey, where you can visit the Semiconductor’s first ever public sculpture Cosmos commissioned through the first edition of the ambitious, new initiative Jerwood Open Forest.

• Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, Gloucestershire, is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2016 with a series of new commissions joining the unique collection of high-quality, contemporary sculpture, both permanent and temporary.

• Grizedale Forest, Cumbria, is 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 is 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 extensive 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 oone of the tallest sculptures in the country, Sutton Manor offers extensive views across Cheshire and Lancashire to Snowdonia and the Peak District.

Media Contact:

Stuart Burgess, Media Relations Manager, Forestry Commission England
0300 067 4073/

Image Credit: Samuel Dawd, Forestry Commission