One man’s dream to combine art and nature

Stephen Cohen sits in the middle of a structure in his wood NNL-180801-114721001
Stephen Cohen sits in the middle of a structure in his wood NNL-180801-114721001

For the past two decades, hiding in plain site, ten acres of woodland has been slowly created and transformed into an ever-changing organic art installation.

The Whispering Knights project which abuts the Whispering Knights burial tomb and the Rollright Stones started life is the brainchild of owner Stephen Cohen.

A globe of brash begins to collapse as the wood dries NNL-180801-114104001

A globe of brash begins to collapse as the wood dries NNL-180801-114104001

Mr Cohen said: “This is a wood that is now 21 years old which I planted on a bare field.

“As we started to thin – you have to because if it is unthinned the trees are too close together – you get a lot of brash and logs.

“The idea was instead of leaving it on the ground to rot we would make some structures.”

The structures alluded to, consist of sweeping, never-ending circles, bramble and brash balls and enclosed wooden hideaways.

Stephen Cohen in shelter made of line and other natural woods NNL-180801-113819001

Stephen Cohen in shelter made of line and other natural woods NNL-180801-113819001

Karl Gunter, the architect of many of the larger structures, said of the one pictured above: “This is a meditation spiral. In some Thai Chi forms you have 360 degree movement one way and 360 degree movement the other.

“This achieves the same thing,” he added.

The woods structures will be open to the public in May during Oxfordshire Art Weeks.

Mr Cohen said: “Basically we enjoy creating these structures and if other people like them too then that’s great.”

The Whispering Knights tomb and Rollright Stones in the distance NNL-180801-114923001

The Whispering Knights tomb and Rollright Stones in the distance NNL-180801-114923001

Karl Gunter in one of his creations at the Whispering Knights NNL-180801-114450001

Karl Gunter in one of his creations at the Whispering Knights NNL-180801-114450001