If you havent seen these sculptures already – this is a must for the holiday
Ben Eking’s vision for a natural sculpture park in the grounds of Chorleywood House came to fruition in summer 2014 when a group of trees were transformed into woodland creatures, birds and a fairytale castle, all made possible by his generosity and two skilled woodcarvers
Ben made the decision to fund the woodland project in Dell Wood, Chorleywood House Estate when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
“ My health went downhill about six years ago and last year I wasn’t sure if I’d survive. I have no children and didn’t want my money to go to the taxman so I had the idea of creating something magnificent, a project for the people. The original idea came from a tree trunk at Loudwater Mill House that was carved into a leaping salmon.”
Ben pinpointed an area of trees on CW House Estate and tracked down local carvers
“ I discovered Will Lee and Dave Flemons – Will Is European Champion chainsaw carver!”
Ben put the carving proposal to 3RDC and Friends of Chorleywood House (FOCH) and when agreed, trees were felled, and the FOCH team started nettle pulling, clearing out and repairing the pond
Carvers Will and Dave moved in and took ten days to complete the project
“ We would decide on the morning what we were going to do” said Will “one day we were considering what to carve from a tree when a flock of butterflies appeared, that decided it, I started on the shape of wings!”
“ It brings life back into the place” adds Ben, “ Friends of Chorleywood House are happy and I have the support of Three Rivers District Council and the Environment Agency. The beauty of the whole project is that we are providing an outdoor inspirational learning experience for schools, scouts, brownies and all children of Chorleywood. There is nearly a constant stream of people visiting the sculptures, all leave smiling and tell their friends. I’m very happy. Job done.”
Picture by Ivan Stokoe.
Video of the Chorleywood House Grounds wood carvings