Woodland in Bulwell to be turned into creative hub

Wonder and enjoyment at Barker's Wood in Bulwell.
Wonder and enjoyment at Barker's Wood in Bulwell.

A community woodland in Bulwell is to be transformed into a creative space for drama, festivals and workshops.

Thanks to a grant of £97,500, the town’s long-standing toy library has joined forces with the Nottingham-based theatre company, Nonsuch, in the project at Barker’s Wood.

The Wonder Woods project will enable the toy library to use the ten-acre woodland to work with young people and families as “a place for exploration and discovery”.

Steve Parkinson, service director at the toy library, said: “Our work with children over many generations has shown us that we all begin life as artists, interacting and learning through play and creative experimentation.

“We are delighted to be able to bring this exciting project of arts and activity not only for local people but also for those from further afield who will be welcomed here.

“It will show what a wonderful space Barker’s Wood is for imagination, inspiration, enchantment and playful enjoyment.”

The project will include a 12-month programme offering a host of events, and work with local schools and older people.

There are also plans to ask local artists to create permanent work at the wood, using everything from poetry to sculpture.

The hope is that the wood will become a cultural destination for locals and visitors alike.

The grant has come from Arts Council England and the National Lottery after the toy library and Nonsuch linked up to try and do more for Bulwell youngsters and the wider community.

Izzy Bradley, of Nonsuch, said: “We are so excited to have the recognition and support of the Arts Council to develop our concept of Wonder Woods.

“We have huge aspirations for the project, which will see Barker’s Wood transformed into an immersive arts destination for families and communities.”

Peter Knott, area director for Arts Council England, said: “Arts and culture play a vital role in making the places we live vibrant and exciting.

“We are delighted to be investing in Wonder Woods, helping children, families and communities to develop, grow and create together.

“We are pleased that the funding will enable more people in Bulwell to be inspired by extraordinary arts and culture as the community woodlands come alive with creativity.”