Sculpture unveiling marks beginning of national pilot project celebrating New Forest rivers

Published Monday 20 August 2012

Becton Bunny, Jacobs Gutter, Highland Water and Dark Water * – these are just some of the streams in the New Forest which are as fascinating as their names.

Now the New Forest National Park Authority has received a Defra awarded grant to devise a way for whole communities to work together for the benefit of their local rivers, streams and coastine, with the results contributing to a nationwide rollout.

The project was launched with the unveiling of a striking sculpture entitled the ‘Millings Chandelier’ at The Mill at Gordleton Hotel & Restaurant on Sunday (August 19).

The Mill, at Silver Street, Hordle near Lymington, and which sits on the Avon Water, features a range of sculptures by high profile local and national artists. This latest dramatic addition by Lymington-based Trudi Lloyd-Williams is suspended across the river. It is made from upcycled waste from the hotel and restaurant - glass and plastic bottles and copper from water pipes and a hot water tank. - in keeping with the ethos of the business, which incorporates many environmentally-friendly practices.

Trudi has often used rivers as her inspiration for sculptures including a series of planted rafts for her Master’s degree floating on the River Lavant at West Dean College, West Sussex, and for a client in London.

She said: ‘I find the whole aspect of water, rivers and flooding fascinating, particularly where we live with the coastal area and the effect of the sea.

‘It’s the first time I have suspended a piece over the river, which is a very volatile stretch and can go up and down by over two metres!’

Liz Cottingham, owner of The Mill at Gordleton, said: ‘The river and caring for the environment is at the heart of my business and I love seeing the seasons change, so having a sculpture reflecting the river is a perfect addition to our range of pieces in the garden.

‘I am delighted the National Park is leading on this project to encourage more people to connect with their rivers as we do, and to collectively come up with a plan to sustain them.’

New Forest National Park Authority Chief Executive Alison Barnes said: ‘Rivers and streams are vital in sustaining our internationally-important and unique New Forest habitats which are home to a wide variety of wildlife species, many of which are rare.

‘We will be working with national charity Pond Conservation and local communities to look at what they value about their rivers, streams and coastline, what the main issues are and how we can work together to tackle them.

‘This beautiful sculpture is a real celebration of the river at The Mill and we hope a whole range of people and organisations will join us in valuing this precious resource and improving it for the future.’

The New Forest River Catchment Project is trialling a new locally-based approach to working with stakeholders to achieve a greater appreciation of the water environment and commitment to joint projects to improve it. The initial phase is now under way and has already started to talk with local partners and communities, with a report due by the end of the year. Work is currently concentrating on the Becton Bunny at Barton-on-Sea and the Sowley and Hatchet streams with their associated small lakes near Beaulieu. If this approach is successful we hope it will be continued to cover the other New Forest streams and coastline.

To have your say on the priorities for improvements to the New Forest’s water environment in general or one of the streams mentioned, or if you would like to be considered for any future practical volunteer opportunities, email

For more details visit

 *New Forest Streams

  • Becton Bunny – at Barton-on-sea
  • Jacobs Gutter - at Totton
  • Highland Water – at Brockenhurst
  • Dark Water – at Lepe


Notes to Photo Editor:

The Millings Chandelier by Trudi Lloyd Williams at The Mill, Gordleton. Photo credit Trudi Lloyd Williams.

About Trudi Lloyd-Williams

Trudi gained a distinction in her Master of Arts Degree, Design for the Environment, Public Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2003. She also gained her Cert Ed for teaching in 2006.

Trudi has been nominated for 2 Public Art Awards by the commissioners, the Community Rail Partnership for her 'Showing the Way' rail trail Lymington.

I specialise in projects that are inspired by places and communities. My work is site specific; utilising research, collaboration, community skills and design through to final installation.

My dual interests in materials and recycling has frequently led to the design and production of new materials either utilising or incorporating recycled products that are site specific. The chandelier is the culmination of a year-long collaboration of commissioner and artist, whose sustainable approach towards art led to the detailed and exhaustive 'up cycling' of waste from the hotel and restaurant, including glass, plastic and copper.

I am an experienced project manager for urban centre projects, site sensitive historic sites and rural landscape and waterways projects with teams of artists, designers, landscape architects, architects and developers.

I am an experienced artist working individually, collaboratively and as lead artist.

Frequently I am involved in sourcing local businesses and artisans to construct and install work, building and developing local networks, leading to a cross fertilisation of ideas and minimizing waste and energy.

About The Mill at Gordleton

Liz Cottingham bought the hotel almost 10 years ago and is passionate about art but also about the environment. Most of our produce is bought locally or grown in our kitchen garden – everything on our menu is made at The Mill including soup, sauces, breads and ice creams.

We have been lucky enough to have been awarded Johannsens Innovation in sustainability, Tourism South East Sustainable Tourism, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Sustainable Business Award. We have a heat exchange unit in our river which supplies 80% of our heating, we recycle everything we can - plastic, bottles, card, oil, batteries - and we are just about to install a composter to turn all our food waste into compost for our new kitchen garden.

We are really proud of our green credentials but we are also equally proud of our quirky interiors and beautiful three-acre riverside garden - that features an array of local artists and sculptures. We have over 30 pieces on display in our garden

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

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