Art & Culture

Art in the Landscape

In 2019 the National Landscapes Association secured a £15,000 grant from Arts Council England to help National Landscapes Partnerships build capacity to create a nationwide programme of inspiring, thought-provoking artworks set in some of the UK's most iconic landscapes.

The Arts Council funding enabled the National Landscapes Association to commission arts partners Activate Performing Arts to research best practice from across the National Landscapes family and beyond, and create the Art in the Landscape strategy 'Connecting people to nature through arts and culture'.

In parallel, the National Landscapes network's first piece of Art in the Landscape took place on 21 September 2019 - a 'National Moment' with simultaneous events staged in National Landscapes across the country. The centrepiece was the Poet Laureate Simon Armitage reading a new poem Fugitives, commissioned by the National Landscapes Association and inspired by our National Landscapes, at the National Moment event on Arnside Knott in Arnside & Silverdale National Landscape on 21 September.

In 2020, Activate delivered one of the recommendations in the Art in the Landscapes strategy, training staff members from each National Landscape team on how to work with artists and commission artwork.

Since then, the National Landscapes network has deepened its commitment to working with artists, forming a strong partnership with Poetry School. We were thrilled that in September 2022 the chairs of the National Landscapes Association and Arts Council England signed a Memorandum of Understanding representing our joint commitment to working together to nurture new links between arts and cultural organisations, and England’s 34 National Landscapes.

There are some great examples of Art in the Landscape across our National Landscapes: from the biennial Wye Valley River Festival to permanent works and projects in Surrey Hills Arts, and awe inspiring landscape scale artworks in the moors of the North Pennines National Landscape.