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.
The Stour Valley Creative Partnership is a new creative partnership which has been formed to take forward the legacy of Stour Valley Arts Trust. The partnership is between Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership, Ashford Borough Council, Forestry Commission, Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, University for the Creative Arts and University of Kent. Kent County Council are also contributing.
Stour Valley Arts originally came about in 1993 through a partnership of organisations working together, including KSCP, ABC, KCC and the Forestry Commission. A working group was developed with Ashford Borough Council and Kent County Council and from this a consultant was appointed to commission works centred around King’s Wood. From 1994 to 2000, with a range of funding sources, a number of works were produced. From 2001 to 2014 staff were employed through the Trust to deliver commissions and educational workshops. In 2009 the Trust moved into offices in Ashford with a gallery.
In 2015 due funding constraints the Board of Trustees decided it had to cease trading.
In the first instance the partnership will look to maintain the existing art works in King’s Wood and to archive the work of Stour Valley Arts, through the University for the Creative Arts, so it is available for future use. The longer term vision will be to engage a wide audience with art and the magic of King’s Wood through interpretation, educational programmes and facilitating new commissions of works of art in King’s Wood and the wider landscape.
The sculptures that can be found on the trail were not originally commissioned or installed to be part of a trail but to be discovered along the way. However, the trail has been put together to help people find the sculptures and you can download a pdf of the trail below, which also gives you information on each of the sculptures. Please note mobile signals can be patchy in the woods so best to download it before you start! SVCP Trail map
Most of the sculptures on the sculpture trail were installed between 1999 and 2008. SVCP ‘s first mission was to secure the trail for the future. Much of this work is being done by volunteers with KSCP and Forestry Commission staff. Super Kingdom was due to be repaired September 2016, however further work is now needed so we will keep you posted on plans. In time we hope to add new work to this wonderful woodland.
New sculptures by University for the Creative Arts and University of Kent Fine Art students were on display in the Autum of 2016…. click here to see more
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.