Forestry England Arts

Spherical sculpture on water in mist
Intrastellar by Steve Messam, 2020

Contemporary art, design and architecture in the nation’s forests

Discover our innovative arts programme in a forest near you

Woodlands and forests are vital places for artists to engage with, to make and present new work. Since 1968 the nation’s forests have played host to a wide range of artworks and art forms.

Our programme supports artists, architects and designers to develop innovative ideas.

Contemporary arts in our forests include installations, trails, exhibitions and live performances. Explore the artworks and discover how the forest can shape our thinking. Find out more about the projects in our forests below. 

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Keep up to date with our latest events, exhibitions and opportunities as well as inspiring stories and exclusive giveaways. 

Earth Photo

Established in 2018 Earth Photo is a world leading initiative dedicated to engaging with photographers and the prescient issues affecting our planet, aiming to stimulate conversations about our environment and the impact of climate change.   

Out of over 1,400 entries, a judging panel made up of experts from the fields of photography, film, geography and environment selected the Earth Photo 2023 shortlist: 128 photos and videos by 56 photographers and filmmakers.

A selection of the shortlisted images from 2023 entries will be on display at five of our forests between summer 2023 and spring 2024. 

Earth Photo shortlisted work - half a tree burning
Wooden diamonds, 2023 by Filippo Ferraro
woman sat at desk with telescope beside

Louise Beer, photographer In residence at Cannock Chase

GRAIN Projects, working in partnership with Forestry England, are delighted to announce that artist Louise Beer has been awarded the Photographer In Residence opportunity at Cannock Chase, Staffordshire. 

Louise is an artist and curator, born in Aotearoa New Zealand and now working between London, Margate and Aotearoa. Louise uses installation, moving image, photography, writing, participatory works and sound to explore humanity's evolving understanding of Earth’s environments and the cosmos.

Louise will engage with the location at Cannock Chase and its communities to create new work that supports the development of her practice.

The Secret Sounds of Trees at Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean.

In partnership with Sound UK an audio-visual commission invites audiences into the forest to explore the inner world of the trees at Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean.

An atmospheric soundscape, feathered, pink botanic, by acclaimed artists Jez riley French (UK) and Lau Nau (Finland)will immerse audiences in a hidden world, revealing microscopic vibrations and sounds inaudible to the human ear.

Jez captured the sounds of Beechenhurst’s trees, plant life, soil horizons and insects with specially designed microphones, as used in the David Attenborough series such as The Green Planet. In a first time collaboration with Lau Nau, these secret sounds are combined with composed electronic music to create a unique soundscape.

The Secret Sounds of Trees enables audiences to experience Beechenhurst in a totally new way.

Trees in a forest at sunsent
Photo credit: Sound UK

Installations and trails

End profile view of Rachel Whiteread's Nissen Hut, Dalby Forest
Dalby Forest, near Pickering, Yorkshire
Visit the Nissen Hut by Turner Prize-winning artist Rachel Whiteread
RUUP by Birgit Oigus, Grizedale, 2018. Photo creds: Amelia Harvey
Grizedale Forest, near Hawkshead, the Lake District
Discover the UK's first forest for sculpture
Stained glass hanging from trees
Beechenhurst, near Coleford, Gloucestershire
Visit the sculpture trail and discover the newly commissioned pieces installed this year
View through a striking timber shelter structure with view in the distance
Kielder Forest, near Falstone, Northumberland
Explore a variety of inspiring artwork around Kielder forest
The Dream, art sculpture image at Sutton Manor forest
Sutton Manor, near St Helens, Lancashire
Visit the imposing sculpture at Sutton Manor Community Woodland

Our Past Projects

We have created and supported a rich variety of artworks in the nation's forests. Discover our past projects here.