Stour Valley Art Project
The South East England Area of the Forestry Commission has two sculpture initiatives in its area - the Chiltern Sculpture Trail set up in 1990 and the Stour Valley Art Project set up in 1994. Both projects include sculpture which has now been installed for a sufficiently long time for maintenance and decommissioning to have become issues, and both have been successful in attracting considerable numbers of visitors onto Forestry Commission owned land so that the question of liability needs to be resolved. Whilst the Forestry Commission owns the land, the woodlands are actually managed by Forest Enterprise, an agency of the Forestry Commission.
The Head Ranger for Education and Recreation for Forest Enterprise, Emma Munday, is now developing a Management Agreement with the Chiltern Sculpture Trust to clarify these issues which is expected to be in place by summer 2000. When this first example has been finalised, a similar Agreement will be drafted in consultation with the Stour Valley Art Project.
The Management Agreement will include the following sections:-
- A mini management plan for each sculpture including exact details of how it is made structurally, materials, maintenance requirements and life expectancy
- A schedule of quarterly checks to be made for each work and a schedule for a major annual check
- A clear agreement of the procedure and criteria by which Forest Enterprise and the arts organisation decide that the sculpture can be repaired or must be decommissioned
- An Exclusion Zone around each sculpture, agreed with the artist, within which Forest Enterprise agrees to forgo its commercial harvesting and planting activities
- A schedule apportioning liability for accidents and damage to visitors to the woodland and their property, depending upon the cause of the accident (the footpaths, the sculptures, fallen trees etc). This will formalise the current situation, that the arts body in each case owns the sculptures and art works and has liability for accidents and damage caused by them.
The Management Agreement will be for a period of five years and will be renegotiated after that time.
© Copyright Joanna Morland 2000