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King’s Wood is a 1500-acre forest in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in Challock. It is managed by the Forestry Commission and the Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership for conservation, recreation and timber production and is open to the public throughout the year and has an active Friends of King’s Wood Association that hold regular events.
King’s Wood was historically a royal hunting forest and a large herd of fallow deer still run free in the wood.
Since 1994, Stour Valley Creative Partnership has commissioned artists to make sculptures within the forest and also other kinds of artworks. Artists who are particularly responsive to the history and character of this working forest are invited to spend long periods here. As a consequence of their close and sympathetic involvement with the forest, they use natural materials found in the immediate area, and engage with seasonal and growing cycles. Their use of natural materials means that the sculptures in King’s Wood gradually change and will all, eventually, become part of the natural forest cycle of decay and regeneration. Day to day, they are transformed by light, weather and seasonal occurrences.
As well as sculptures marked on the map, visitors may see the ‘ghosts’ of previous sculptures now being reclaimed by nature. A marked trail leads visitors round the sculptures in King’s Wood and visitors should allow at least 2.5 hours to complete the trail.
Kings Wood is so vast, see more in a day with a choice of good cycling trails on the hard forest roads and mountain bike trails in the woods.
Easy access information
This park and open space has at least one accessible route but otherwise is considered to be less suitable for visitors with pushchairs and/or wheelchairs.