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Es Devlin’s visionary forest at Somerset House for London Design

The Forest for Change is the centrepiece of the 2021 London Design Biennale which runs from 1st June until 27th June 2021 at Somerset House.

Designed by leading international artist and designer, and Artistic Director of the Biennale Es Devlin, in collaboration with Urban Greening Specialists Scotscape and Landscape Designer Philip Jaffa, the outdoor experience is presented in partnership with Project Everyone, a not-for profit agency founded by Richard Curtis, Kate Garvey and Gail Gallie to further awareness and engagement with the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

This forest of 400 trees from 27 varieties typical of those found across the UK and Northern Europe, will create a magnificent green landscape and centrepiece in Somerset House’s courtyard. The Pavilion will offer a journey of discovery and interaction, with a Global Goals installation in the central clearing of the forest. The forest will bring to life the solutions needed to achieve the Goals and gather voices from across society to create a powerful collective message for change in an effort to combat climate change, reduce inequality and include everyone in the Covid-19 recovery.

Scotscape installed the forest for change over 7 days, with trees from the award winning Barcham Trees, selected by Philip Jaffa of Scape Design and Angus Cunningham of Scotscape. To highlight the condition of trees in the urban environments due to climate change, a diverse range of 27 nursery grown species were selected with the aim of ensuring future resilience to the changing London environment. The shrub planting has been supplied by Quercus Nursery to enhance the woodland experience for visitors to the installation. By night the Forest will be illuminated with lighting supplied by lighting designers John Cullen Lighting.

All of the trees used in the Forest For Change will be re-homed in the London Boroughs of Islington and Southwark.

The shrubs will be donated to Greenfingers Charity, a national charity dedicated to supporting life-limited children who spend time in hospices around the UK, along with their families, by creating inspiring gardens for them to relax in and benefit from

Angus Cunningham said: “A fantastic project that ticks so many boxes for us. Introducing biodiversity into the built environment is at the heart of everything we do. That trees were forbidden from this space when it was built 250 years ago shows just how far we have come in realising that we need to work with nature not against it.”

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