New carved sculptures are proving popular at a County Durham beauty spot.

The sculptures make up a new trail at Hardwick Park, which is maintained by Durham County Council. There are six wetland-inspired oak pieces, designed and carved by north east artists Lee and Jill Brewster.

The artworks, depicting a dragonfly, frog and other wetland animals, were commissioned by the Discover Brightwater Landscape Project team as part of its £3.3million programme of activities funded by National Lottery players and distributed through the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Even before the trail was complete the carvings saw plenty of interest during the recent October half-term break.

Discover Brightwater is a programme of events, projects and activities to restore, reveal and celebrate life around the River Skerne which runs from Darlington, through Newton Aycliffe, Sedgefield, Bishop Middleham, Fishburn and the Trimdons, up to Hurworth Burn Reservoir.

New Carved Sculptures Making Up New Trail At Hardwick Park Prove To Be Popular
Emily Barker Fox

The sculpture trail starts at the park’s visitor centre, taking in the Serpentine Bridge, Fen Carr Boardwalk, main lake and west end of the Serpentine Lake before ending at the back of Temple Field. The last sculpture marks the way to Bishop’s Fen, a new 25-hectare nature reserve which is being developed by Discover Brightwater’s lead partner Durham Wildlife Trust, 2km north of Bishop Middleham.

A children’s activity booklet containing fun animal facts, trivia questions and sensory activities for families to use while visiting the sculptures will be available from Hardwick Park, which was recently awarded the Green Flag accreditation, in the coming weeks.

Cllr Mark Wilkes, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and climate change, said: “These new sculptures are a fantastic addition to our offering at Hardwick Park, which continues to be a popular destination for families from across the county.

“We hope that more people will visit the site and enjoy taking part in the trail for many years to come, learning more about nature and getting exercise outdoors in the process.”

More information on Discover Brightwater is available at

To find out more about opening times and further information on Hardwick Park, which was recently awarded Green Flag Award status, go to

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