Kings Wood is a 1500-acre forest. It is one of Kent’s largest woodlands and is managed by the Forestry Commission for conservation, recreation and timber production. The forest is an ancient woodland with both broad-leaved trees and conifers, species include sweet chestnut, beech, Corsican pine and Douglas fir. It is home to a huge diversity of flora and fauna, including fallow deer, adders, nightjars, green woodpeckers, lesser and greater spotted woodpeckers, foxgloves, bluebells and woodspurges. Since 1994, Stour Valley Arts have commissioned artists to make sculptures within the forest and also other kinds of artworks. Artists who are particularly responsive to the history and character of this working forest are invited to spend long periods here. As a consequence of their close and sympathetic involvement with the forest, they use natural materials found in the immediate area. This use of natural materials means that the sculptures in King's Wood gradually change and will all, eventually, become part of the natural forest cycle of decay and regeneration. Day to day, they are transformed by light, weather and seasonal occurrences. As well as sculptures marked on the map, visitors may see the 'ghosts' of previous sculptures now being reclaimed by nature. You might also spot experimental pieces made during Stour Valley Art's education workshops.
At least 10 different on-site artworks are spread through the forest, which encourages visitors to explore and discover the woods, experiencing the wildlife and contemporary art at the same time. Two of the artworks are award-winning and some have been designed for children to interact with. An on-site map is available to help visitors locate the artworks from the Stour Valley Countryside Partnership.
Friends of Kings Wood
This organisation supports the protection, preservation and improvement of King’s Wood for the benefit of the public as a recreational area. Throughout the year The Friends hold regular guided walks and a practical work days. Walks are free to members and cost £2 per person for non-members. See the Friends of Kings Wood website for more information.