Get involved in Arts & Creativity

Be creative. Bring the Forest to life. 

The National Forest is a living place with an amazing story to tell – a history of transformation from coal and clay to a beautiful wooded landscape. Not to mention its vibrant and beautiful villages still existing today. We believe that we should celebrate the unique identity of the Forest and keep its history alive. That’s where you come in. Whether you’re a sculptor or a singer, a poet or a presenter, there are many ways you can get creative in the Forest. So start today.

Create a village feature in the National Forest

Creating a village feature can be a great way to bring your local community together for a project that everyone can be a part of. It can create an extraordinary focal point for where you live, and can intrigue and inspire those who visit. We can offer help and advice on ideas for your feature, ways to involve other local people, and in some cases can even offer grants of up to 50% for your project costs as well as advice on other possible sources for funding.

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Sculpture at Albert Village Lake

Previous village feature projects

Newborough village feature

Almost everyone in the village of Newborough was involved in this project. The gateway is seen as an asset to the village - a remembrance, a renewal of village spirit and a commitment to the future. The final piece features a carved sculpture around a central tree. In December 1999, a tree and sculpture dedication was held, evergreen wreaths were placed around the sculpture by the oldest resident, a school pupil and the newest baby in the village.

Ravenstone village feature

A committee of local people got together to organise the creation of a village feature sculpture. The striking stone and metal creation by artist Phil Townsend is now in place on the village green. Ann Thorne, Chairman of the organising committee, said: 'The group of people involved have had to put in a great deal of work over a number of years, but it has all been worthwhile. We are all very proud of what Phil has created.'

Barton-under-Needwood village sign

Two signs have been made to welcome visitors to the historic village. Local co-ordinator, Steve Gardiner, says: "At Barton under Needwood we are indeed proud to be within The National Forest and deeply proud also that our village name contains reference to the once famous Royal Hunting Forest of Needwood. The signs are a tremendous work of art, giving coloured pictorial reference to old buildings within the village with the Forest in evidence all around."

Noon Collumn at Sence Valley.

Noon Columns

The National Forest can be defined by six ‘regional character’ areas, which can all be defined by some key characteristics. In 2006, world-renowned artist David Nash created six Noon Columns in the National Forest – one in each of the distinct landscape areas. The 3-4m high columns are carved from sustainable English Oak, and are placed so that, at True Noon each day, the sun shines through a slot carved in the wood, creating a line of light within the shadow cast by the column itself.

Youth Landscapers

Youth Landscapers are a group of young people from Donisthorpe and Moira who have come together to research, map and explore The Heart of the National Forest. Undertaking a series of unique creative projects led by artist Jo Wheeler. Projects have ranged from creating exhibitions to films, with the group’s latest project being an investigation into the significant buildings that have witnessed and adapted to the areas landscape change.

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Youth Landscapers at Moira Canal Festival
The Coal Tits rehearsing at Feanedock

The Coal Tits

A group who have come together with a shared interest and pride in ensuring the local history, industrial revolution, local characters, traditions and folklore remains alive. With the support of Jennifer Reid, ballad expert, and Jo Maker, from the Black to Green project, the group has been inspired to write songs and poems which reflect upon the transformation of the National Forest and the benefits that it has brought to the local environment.

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