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Lake District forest’s sculpture projects receive 175,000 funding boost

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Stone Forest

Exciting plans to re-establish the Forestry Commission’s Grizedale Forest as a centre for international excellence in sculpture have been given a £175,000 funding boost.

Grizedale Forest, near Hawkshead in the Lake District, has been a centre for art in the environment for more than 30 years. And this legacy is set to continue thanks to two substantial grants that will see exciting and innovative new installations created in the forest.

Grizedale Forest has received £80,000 from South Lakeland District Council through the DCFS funded Playbuilder initiative. This funding is being used to commission an internationally renowned group of artists called Greyworld. They have been tasked with creating a new sound installation on Grizedale Forest’s Ridding Wood Trail – the most popular walking trail in the forest.

This work forms part of a wider ambitious scheme called Arts Roots Grizedale. This project will reinvigorate the sculpture programme across the forest repositioning art once again at the forefront of the visitor experience in Grizedale Forest.

Arts Roots Grizedale has received £95,000 from Arts Council England’s Grants for the arts programme to commission artists who will develop innovative ideas for new high-impact works within the forest. Grants for the arts is an open application funding programme which invests National Lottery money in the highest quality arts activity and supports innovative and exciting work.

Hayley Skipper, the Forestry Commission's Curator of Arts Development based at Grizedale, said:

“It is absolutely fantastic news that we have been able to secure the funding to achieve our dream of re-establishing Grizedale Forest as a leading site for art in the environment.

“Grizedale Forest has a rich history of being a unique landscape for inspirational art which has drawn visitors locally, regionally, nationally and internationally for decades. This funding will enable us to build on these foundations and to reinvigorate the art experience for many more years to come.”

Michelle Freeman, Arts Council England said:

“Arts Roots creates fresh opportunities for artists to develop new work responding to the beauty of the landscape at Grizedale Forest. The project promises to reach significant new audiences for the arts, offering an inspiring experience for visitors throughout all stages of the project - from start to finish.”

Greyworld’s work is set to be installed within the forest before the end of the summer.

Other artists will be commissioned to develop ideas for new works for the Ridding Wood Trail, the Millwood Trail and there will also be a 'cycle-able' sculpture for two-wheeled visitors.

Graeme Prest, Forestry Commission area manager for North West England, said:

“It is great news that we have been able to secure the funding to be able to revamp the art experience within Grizedale Forest. Sculpture has been a big factor within the forest during the last three decades.

“Over the years we have added more reasons for people to visit such as mountain biking trails, walking routes and high wire adventure courses but art has always remained a key attraction. This funding will help provide something new and exciting and bring back a buzz to the sculpture offer at Grizedale."

Grizedale Forest was at the forefront in the development of art in the environment in the 1970's and is now home to over 60 sculptures including works by Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Harris and David Kemp.

A special website containing information about the sculptures in Grizedale Forest and other projects has been created at

More information about Grizedale Forest can be found at



  1. The Forestry Commission is the largest provider of countryside recreation in Britain with responsibility for over one million hectares (2.4 million acres) of forest, woodlands and open countryside. The North West England Forest District covers the Lake District in Cumbria, the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire. The forests today are managed for conservation, wildlife, landscape and recreation as well as providing a valuable source of timber.

  2. Playbuilder is a two-year funding stream from the (former) Department for Children Schools and Families (DCSF). South Lakeland District Council was successful in its bid for this government funding in 2009, to be allocated via the Play Partnership. This project represents completion of the delivery of the Playbuilder funding in South Lakeland. Year 1 distributed £80,000 worth of funding for play opportunities in 7 separate projects in South Lakeland. In Year 2 the South Lakeland Play Partnership wanted to invest all the £80,000 in one project which combined art and/or landscaping with an inspiring play opportunity which would provide an inclusive challenge for 8-13 year olds and not be dependent on the installation of traditional equipment.

  3. Arts Council England works to get great art to everyone by championing, developing and investing in artistic experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to digital art, and carnival to crafts. Great art inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves, and the world around us. In short, it makes life better.  Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and a further £0.85 billion from the National Lottery to create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.


Hayley Skipper on 01229 862015 and Sarah Bruce, the Forestry Commission’s marketing manager in Cumbria, on 01229 862011 or 07827 232832.