Archive for April, 2010

Griffin Wooden sculptures star in Walk in the Woods month

The upcoming guided walk to see the new sculptures at Griffin Wood takes place next week – 2pm, Tuesday 25th May, meeting on site at 1.45.  This is part of Walk in the Woods month, a national Tree Council initiative which will see thousands of people enjoying the spring fresh air this May. You can find out what else is going on in St.Helens and further afield at the ‘Walk in the Woods month in The Mersey Forest’ mini-website.

Please email helen.collins@merseyforest.org.uk to confirm your place.

But before all that don’t forget the next Friends of Griffin Wood meeting! Details here.

Something’s happening in the woods!

If you go down to Griffin Wood today……………….. you will see a trail of new wooden sculptures created just for you!  We can’t guarantee teddy bears but the 5 newly installed sculptures will hopefully surprise you, in a good way and do feature other creatures.  The sculptures were created at last month’s Wood Works festival by the top 5 chainsaw artists in the country (according to an official poll from Helen Collins, the organiser of the festival!!) and are a Green Man, with his eyes closed (surely not in a dream like state?), situated directly across the fields from Dream carved by Tim Burgess; the trail then moves onto “Bryan”, a very friendly snail crawling out of the old wood to greet walkers, made by Julian Taylor (creator of the bench referred to below).  Following the trail along the paths, you are then greeted by the superb “Miner Bird” – which is a fine blend of industry and wildlife by Nigel McQuilton from P.N Tree Services based in Warrington.  This sculpture is located directly opposite the Fiddlers Ferry power station and links the coal mining heritage of the local area with the pick axe and miners’ helmet to the wildlife to be found at Griffin Wood with the bird of prey sat on the axe.  This site is home to many birds of prey including pairs of Kestrels and Buzzards. 

You may want to take a few minutes out to sit back and enjoy the scenery and there is no better place than the excellent rabbit warren seat, located next to one of the beautiful ponds, where you can settle back and really feel you are part of the warren.  This piece  was created by Simon O Rourke.  Last but not least is “Try” – the hand on the rugby ball, this is quite symbolic as this sculpture is incredibly smooth and does make you want to run your hands all over it!  This was carved by Andy Burgess .  Rabbit WarrenSnail

These sculptures were installed at Griffin Wood by Tree Health Services, who also very kindly located and transported the wood for the sculptures to be carved from.rugby ball MLD_0188Miner birdTree Health Services

If you would like to join us for the official opening walk around the sculpture trail, this will take place on Tuesday 25th May, meeting on site from 2pm for an hour’s walk and talk around the site.

The Friends of Griffin Wood’s next meeting is being held at the Leaf Centre on Four Acre Lane on Thursday 29th April from 6.30pm, please do come and join us – this group needs people like YOU!

New bench installation

Griffin Wood gained another interesting feature this month with the installation of a new sculptured bench, designed to resemble the shape of a fern leaf.

The finished bench feature

The new bench installed at Griffin Wood.

Julian Taylor, a sculptor based in Liverpool, took inspiration for the design from the magnificent  Broad Buckler ferns (Dryopteris dilatata) that can be found within the mature woodland at Griffin Wood, as well as linking it back to the coal mining heritage of Clock Face.  The presence of dense fern forests 300 million years ago helped create the rich coal seams that were found in the surrounding area.

Julian was able to construct the bench using timber that had been extracted from the mature woodland as part of tree safety works.  This was made possible through the assistance of John Campbell of Tree Health Services who was able to extract the usable timber from the felled trees and process them into the required sizes using a portable sawmill.  Following many hours of hard work, Julian was able to install the bench in a spot where many users of the site should be able to enjoy the new feature

Fitting the jisaw of pieces together.

Fitting the jigsaw pieces together.

To see more of Julian Taylor’s work visit his web page at: http://www.taylorstudios.co.uk/

Keep an eye out for the Broad Buckler ferns this spring which should just be beginning to emerge from the leaf litter of the mature woodland to uncurl into their characteristic broad fronds.