16. Peace Woodland

The Peace Woodland – A Living Artwork

peace woodland the great exhibition 2018 (1)

Creating the Peace Woodland

Believed to be the first Peace Woodland planted outside Jerusalem The ‘Peace Woodland’ is a Living Artwork created by Sculptor Peter Walker (2019)

Created from 1,918 trees the Peace Woodland is situated in Beacon Park, Lichfield, Staffordshire.

1918 is a significant number marking 100 years since the  Armistice year when the beginning of the Peace Woodland project began.  Peter Walker worked with Lichfield Cathedral and Lichfield District Council Historic Parks team to create the living artwork – a labyrinth of trees with a central Cedar tree and a 6ft bronze plaque of names dedicated to Peace.

Over 1,300 people have dedicated names of friends, departed loved ones, or living family members to this unique project marking the Centenary of the First World War, which has been planted and will remain for the next generation to have as a space of peace and a symbol of hope.

An army of volunteers helped to save, pot, nurture and plant young saplings that would have otherwise been felled to create this lasting memorial to peace for everyone to enjoy.

A Cedar of Lebanon tree stands in the middle of the maze-like Peace Woodland which is thought to be a symbol of hope.

The Dean of Lichfield Cathedral, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber, said: “The Peace Woodland was at the heart of our Armistice year here at Lichfield Cathedral. It is fitting that on Easter Sunday, when we celebrate new life and resurrection, we bless the new life and hope symbolised by this permanent living artwork.

“We are grateful to everyone who chose to sponsor and dedicate a name and be part of this peace project during 2018. We also thank the District Council and all the volunteer tree planters who have brought this vision to reality.

“We hope the Peace Woodland will become a potent symbol: one that reminds us of the sacrifices made in war, and our ambition always to strive for peace, for freedom, and for hope.” Very Rev, Adrian Dorber.

 The trees were first exhibited as temporary artwork installed in front of Lichfield Cathedral last summer as part of The Great Exhibition: Imagine Peace by the artist Peter Walker.

peace woodland great exhibition

Peter, who has spent time working with the volunteers at Beacon Park said: “This project really caught the imagination of the volunteers here – they have become part of this creative installation of living art.”

Paul Niven, Community Gardener for Lichfield District Council, said: “It’s such a privilege to have been involved in this important project. We’ve worked hard caring for and planting these 1,918 saplings and the Peace Woodland will be a wonderful new addition to Beacon Park.”

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