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Trail details

Grade of Trail:

  • Moderate

Trail Waymarking:

purple arrows

Length of trail:

4.5 miles

Trail description

Beechenhurst - Forest of Dean

The sculptures on this trail are inspired by the forest - its trees, wildlife and industrial past.

Since 1984 The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust has raised funds to commission artists to celebrate and help us appreciate and understand the life of the forest.

The Sculpture Trust works in partnership with the Forestry Commission which maintains the sculptures and trail.

The sculptures are mostly constructed from natural material from the Dean - wood, stone and iron. They are interspersed along the trail through majestic oaks and towering Scots pine trees

A Sculpture Trail leaflet, containing details of the sculptures for £1, is available at Beechenhurst Cafe. 

There are waymarked shortcuts: Shortcut A (first 6 sculptures) is approx 2.2 miles in length and Shortcut B is 3 miles (first 12 sculptures)

Some of the Sculptures can be accessed with a power assisted wheelchair, please ring the the Forestry Comission, Tel 0300 067 4800, or e-mail using the link provided for further access information.

A New Era

A series of new sculptures have been introduced in 2016 for visitors to discover and enjoy.

Two permanent pieces of artwork, 'Coal Measure Giants' by Henry Castle and 'Yasasin' by Pomona Zipser, were opened in July 2016 to mark the 30th anniversary of the Sculpture Trail. 

Two temporary artworks are in place towards the start of the trail, 'Sentient Forest' by Andrea Roe and 'Charcoal Measure' by Onya McCausland. 

Since the founding of the trail, artisits from all over the world have been invited to respond to the unique heritage of the Forest of Dean.  The trail's sculptures were not simply sited here but developed and inspired by the distinctive qualities of the place.  They have been intentionally left to be reclaimed by the forest over time, naturally eroding from weather, animals, plant growth and the footfall of the visiting public.

The new artworks have replenished the trail at a time when some older sculptures are coming to the end of their life cycle or have been removed for safety reasons (including Place, commonly known as 'The Giant's Chair')

The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust, a registered charity, has raised the funding for the new artworks.  The trust works in close partnership with the Forestry Commission as part of the Forest Art Works programme to support achieving great art for everyone in England's public forests.




What do other visitors say?

5 Stars 5 Stars

My family, including 4 grandsons all under 5, walked the Highway Rat trail. It was excellent. We bought activity packs and the boys had great fun looking for the next activity also lots to look for in the woods. Highly recommended.

Sally, 3/Jul/2018
1 Star 1 Star

To be honest I was very unimpressed with the sculpture trail. My girlfriend had walked the trail many years ago when she worked at PGL and couldn't stop raving about it and the stories we could make up for our 6 children. We found the sculptures were not very clearly marked and we found our children got very bored very quickly as we must have missed some. We were also disappointed to find some of them falling down and instead of being repaired, they just had fencing around. Sorry but the overall experience was very disappointing

Glynn, 20/Apr/2017

Thank you for your feedback. Sculpture trail leaflets can be purchased from the cafe priced at just a £1, this includes a map and information about each sculpture. Some pieces have been intentionally left to degrade as per the artist's vision for the piece. New sculptures were installed in 2016 with more being planned for 2017/2018.

Forestry Commission Response
2 Stars 2 Stars

Not easy to find the sculptures not family friendly and a long walk

Anonymous, 9/Apr/2017

Sorry to hear you found the Sculptures difficult to find. Sculpture Trail leaflets, which contain a map, are available to download for free from our website or can be purchased from Beechenhurst Café priced at a £1. For those that would like a shorter walk. There are way marked shortcuts: Shortcut A (first 6 sculptures) is approx. 2.2 miles in length and Shortcut B is 3 miles (first 12 sculptures) We also have the Gruffalo trail for those wanting a more family friendly trail.

Forestry Commission Response
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OS Grid ref: SO614120

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West England District
0300 067 4800
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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.