Arts scheme links suburb to forest

Project aims to foster an improved relationship between residents and their immediate environment.

An artist-led project named Homelife has been launched to explore the relationship between a stretch of ancient woodland and the housing estate it borders. From now until July, artists from Epping Forest Arts will work with people living in the housing estate that borders Chigwell Row Wood Local Reserve, Essex. The reserve is one of the top 40 sites in the country for veteran trees and is home to more than 45 veteran oaks and hundreds of hornbeam pollards. Because of its close proximity to suburbia the site is often used for the fly-tipping of household goods such as washing machines, televisions and motorbikes. The Homelife project was launched in response to this, with the aim of fostering a better relationship between residents and their immediate environment. A representative for Epping Forest Arts, part of Epping Forest Council, said: “In the paradox that is Essex, the rural and the urban co-exist but don’t necessarily mix. Homelife will address this.” Nature, health and science experts will act as mediators between the residents and artists to help participants create artwork inspired by the wood.

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