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This autumn will see Northumberland’s Kielder Water and Forest Park welcome The Custody Code, a new art film and installation produced by Amanda Loomes and developed as part of the Forestry Commission’s centenary celebrations. Available to view from 18 September to 1 December 2019, the film reveals the hidden industry within the working forest, telling the individual, intimate and often surprising stories of the men and women who call the forest their office.

Kielder is the second of two forests to host The Custody Code, chosen because of the critical role that it plays in sustainable woodland management. Today, Kielder is responsible for over a third of Forestry England’s timber production with up to 50 lorry loads of timber harvested each day, to supply sawmills who create chipboard, pulp and wood fuel for customers. All of this timber is independently certified under the Forest Stewardship Council scheme, which ensures that it is sustainably sourced, complies with laws and regulations, supports local economies and avoids negatively impacting the environment. In addition, 2019 has seen the creation of a new area of woodland in Kielder, one which is more resilient to a changing climate and tree disease, and is in line with the Forestry Commission’s ambition to expand and improve England’s forests.

The Custody Code will be shown in a specially designed wooden structure made from sustainably sourced local timber located just off one of Kielder’s forest pathways. Partially hidden between the trees, the location of the structure reflects the behind-the-scenes, unknown nature of the forestry industry, in particular its workers. 

The film will play in a continuous loop across two monitors, which will be sustainably powered by solar panels affixed to the structure’s roof. To view the film, visitors will look through a series of slots in the structure’s walls, the intimacy of the viewing method mirroring the intimacy of the stories being told.

The Custody Code will be available to view at Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland from 18 September 2019 – 1 December 2019

Opening Times

The Custody Code (18 Sept 2019 - 1 Dec 2019)



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