Artistic Licence: A Review of the Forestry Commission's Involvements in the Arts, and Options for the Future
94 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2015
Date Written: 2008
The emphasis of UK forestry policy has widened from timber production to the provision of social and environmental benefits. At the same time, many of the personal and cultural meanings that go with a deeper and more everyday connectedness to trees and woodland have been lost. Some of the most positive potential for addressing these issues lies with the arts.
Arts initiatives undertaken in partnership with, or under the auspices of the Forestry Commission are making significant contributions to objectives relating to education, awareness, social inclusion, sense of place/identity, creative enterprise, cultural expression, physical and mental well-being, environmental valuation, recreation and amenity, community cohesion, and local economies; in addition to producing art that is of intrinsic value for its own sake.
This report presents the first national overview of these activities. It also discusses the role of the state forestry sector in this field, develops an expanded rationale for FC engagement, and provides a basis (including recommendations) for defining agendas in future.
Individual sections of the report focus on: the policy context for FC involvement in the arts; the range of involvements to date; benefits and outcomes; practical management issues; and needs, opportunities, and options for the future. Recommendations are summarised in the final section; and a list of over 125 past and present initiatives is provided in an annex.
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