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Sunday, 26 August 2012

NFNPA - Sculpture unveiling marks beginning of national pilot project celebrating New Forest rivers

Becton Bunny, Jacobs Gutter, Highland Water and Dark Water - these are just some of the streams in the New Forest which are as fascinating as their names.

Now the New Forest National Park Authority has received a Defra awarded grant to devise a way for whole communities to work together for the benefit of their local rivers, streams and coastine, with the results contributing to a nationwide rollout.

The Millings Chandelier
by Trudi Lloyd Williams
at The Mill, Gordleton.
The project was launched with the unveiling of a striking sculpture entitled the ‘Millings Chandelier’ at The Mill at Gordleton Hotel & Restaurant on Sunday (August 19).

The Mill, at Silver Street, Hordle near Lymington, and which sits on the Avon Water, features a range of sculptures by high profile local and national artists. This latest dramatic addition by Lymington-based Trudi Lloyd-Williams is suspended across the river. It is made from upcycled waste from the hotel and restaurant - glass and plastic bottles and copper from water pipes and a hot water tank. - in keeping with the ethos of the business, which incorporates many environmentally-friendly practices.

Trudi has often used rivers as her inspiration for sculptures including a series of planted rafts for her Master’s degree floating on the River Lavant at West Dean College, West Sussex, and for a client in London.

She said: ‘I find the whole aspect of water, rivers and flooding fascinating, particularly where we live with the coastal area and the effect of the sea.

‘It’s the first time I have suspended a piece over the river, which is a very volatile stretch and can go up and down by over two metres!’

Liz Cottingham, owner of The Mill at Gordleton, said: ‘The river and caring for the environment is at the heart of my business and I love seeing the seasons change, so having a sculpture reflecting the river is a perfect addition to our range of pieces in the garden.

‘I am delighted the National Park is leading on this project to encourage more people to connect with their rivers as we do, and to collectively come up with a plan to sustain them.’

New Forest National Park Authority Chief Executive Alison Barnes said: ‘Rivers and streams are vital in sustaining our internationally-important and unique New Forest habitats which are home to a wide variety of wildlife species, many of which are rare.

‘We will be working with national charity Pond Conservation and local communities to look at what they value about their rivers, streams and coastline, what the main issues are and how we can work together to tackle them.

‘This beautiful sculpture is a real celebration of the river at The Mill and we hope a whole range of people and organisations will join us in valuing this precious resource and improving it for the future.’

The New Forest River Catchment Project is trialling a new locally-based approach to working with stakeholders to achieve a greater appreciation of the water environment and commitment to joint projects to improve it. The initial phase is now under way and has already started to talk with local partners and communities, with a report due by the end of the year. Work is currently concentrating on the Becton Bunny at Barton-on-Sea and the Sowley and Hatchet streams with their associated small lakes near Beaulieu. If this approach is successful we hope it will be continued to cover the other New Forest streams and coastline.

To have your say on the priorities for improvements to the New Forest’s water environment in general or one of the streams mentioned, or if you would like to be considered for any future practical volunteer opportunities, email wildlife@newforestnpa.gov.uk.

For more details visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/looking-after/wildlife/catchment-project

New Forest Streams:

  • Becton Bunny - at Barton-on-sea
  • Jacobs Gutter - at Totton
  • Highland Water - at Brockenhurst
  • Dark Water - at Lepe

Further reading: New Forest Wildlife

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