Is this a portal to an unknown world..?

A beautiful carved wooden door, that has appeared on a tree near Forge Dam, is the work of Sheffield City Council.

Thursday, 16th June 2016, 5:00 am
Woodland folklore

The council revealed they installed the door, on an old Horse Chestnut tree in the woodland surrounding Forge Dam Park, in an effort to engage local children in woodland folklore.

The opportunity arose to create the door after an inspection revealed the tree needed root protection works and local craftsman Henk Littlewood was commissioned to carry out the work. The doorway features the words: ‘Chestnut, plane and sycamore, who or what lies behind the door?’

Dave Aspinall, woodland manager at Sheffield City Council, said: “The area under the tree was eroding and some work was needed stabilise the roots.

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“The idea that we could combine the work we are doing with local children and the essential work that was needed to stabilise the tree came to me, as my own children have recently become interested in books by authors such as CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein and his world of hobbits and elves.

“We have a number of aims to promote understanding of trees woodlands and woodland folklore. This gave us the perfect opportunity to work with the children to create something magical for them and other visitors to Forge Dam to enjoy for years to come.”

The work is part of a project called ‘PORTALS’ which is currently under development, but aims to create a series of similar initiatives around the city where funding has been secured.

Coun Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure, said: “This is a beautiful old tree that required some remedial work. We saw this as a great opportunity to be creative in teaching the next generation about the importance of our woodland trees.

“As a city that prides itself on our reputation as The Outdoor City it was important that we commissioned something effective for the tree and enjoyable for those who use our greenspaces, as well as encouraging new visitors.

“Sheffield has more trees than any other city in Britain and the council look after two million of them – that’s four for every person – in around 2,000 open spaces across the city.”

Children can visit to post a message or wish to the woodland people, via the Sheffield Parks and Countryside Facebook page.