From the Forest to the Sea - credit Charles Emerson (1)

‘From the Forest to the Sea’ art trail complete at Lydney Harbour

A new art trail has recently been completed at Lydney Harbour, a nationally important Scheduled Ancient Monument on the River Severn at Lydney, Gloucestershire.

Inspired by the Forest of Dean’s rich industrial heritage, ‘From the Forest to the Sea’ makes connections between the past and present uses of the harbour.

The artists, Denman + Gould, are experts in creating site specific artworks. They were commissioned to develop the new art trail as part of the Destination Lydney Harbour regeneration project.

Cabinet Member for Economy, Cllr Bernie O’Neill, said,

“One of the main goals of our regeneration project at Lydney Harbour has been to develop the area as a recreation and tourism destination for local residents and visitors to the area.

“The art trail is a key part of achieving this. It will give people a new way of experiencing the harbour and of understanding its pivotal role in the Forest of Dean’s industrial past for many years to come.”

The trail starts at the roundabout on the A48 leading to Station Road and continues along the former railway line alongside the canal, ending where the harbour meets the sea.

The first construction, ‘Tower’, made of green oak, alludes to the timber cross-braced supports used in a range of local heavy industries, such as coal mining and railways, during the industrial revolution.

From the Forest to the Sea - credit Charles Emerson (6)
(image credit: Charles Emerson)

When visitors arrive at the harbour they will notice ‘Lookout’ and ‘Coal Arch’ silhouetted against the skyline. The two new sculptures stand in the footprints of previous structures seen in old photos taken during the harbour’s golden age. One was an octagonal white hut, and the other a black hut, which stood beside coal tip number 9. ‘Lookout’ has been made of blue green Forest of Dean pennant stone. In contrast, ‘Coal Arch’ has been made of timber which has been charred using a technique called Shou Sugi Ban, to resemble coal, historically one of the harbour’s main exports.

From the Forest to the Sea - credit Charles Emerson (2)
(image credit: Charles Emerson)

Archive image of Lydney Harbour - Credit Ian Pope
(Archive image credit: Ian Pope)

Artists, Russell Denman and Eleanor Goulding, said,

“From the first moments we spent at the harbour we knew this project would be about the fascinating layers of history as well as the incredible landscape, and the inseparable connection between the two.

“When we first saw the archive images of these two buildings at the harbour we immediately asked ourselves how we could reimagine these structures for the future. One was up, one was down, one was black one was white, one was square, one was octagonal, we became very interested in how this relationship could work for two art works and what the two works could represent.

“We feel incredibly privileged to have been a part of this project, the harbour has become a place very close to our hearts as a place with such a rich connection to the past and an incredible place to experience the unique landscape of the Severn Estuary.”

Along the walking trail between Lydney Railway Station and the harbour, visitors will find three playful, stacked sculptures that have been inspired by the railway that once ran along this path. Sleepers have been inscribed with the poetic names of Forest of Dean collieries, and the ships that used to dock at the harbour.

The installation of a lit footpath along Harbour Road has also begun this month with the resurfacing of Harbour Road also planned. Gloucestershire Highways will lead on this work, which is due to be completed in winter this year.

To find out more about Destination Lydney Harbour, including a series of videos on the artworks and more details on the highway works, visit

The art trail reconnects the town to the harbour, echoing the links once heralded between trade and industry, running along the railway lines.


Contact Information

Forest of Dean Communications Team

[email protected]

Notes to editors

High resolution images available on this dropbox link, please credit Charles Emerson (or Ian Pope if using the archive images) - 

For more information on Denman + Gould, visit