Arts Derbyshire


New ‘Harley Art Trail’ takes visitors on a walk through history

A new art trail is opening on 10th March along the footpath between contemporary art space Harley Gallery and Creswell Crags, home to Britain’s earliest cave art.

From the contemporary art gallery at the Harley, the free entry trail winds through woodlands
and open countryside, before crossing the A60 and heading on towards Creswell Crags. The
verges have been planted with wildflowers, and a bee corridor has been developed.
Along the way, you will find new sculptures by two local artists, Michelle Reader and Martin

Two commissioned horse sculptures, made out of recycled materials collected from the
Welbeck estate, mark the start of the trail. They have been crafted by artist Michelle Reader,
who is based within the Harley Studios on the estate. Visitors can find the horses outside
The Harley Gallery.

Michelle Reader explained “The sculptures represent an encounter between a prehistoric
species and a present-day species making the link across time between Welbeck and
Creswell Crags. The contemporary animal, a racehorse inspired by the lineage of the
‘bloody-shouldered Arabian’ brought to Welbeck by Edward Harley, comes face to face with
its ancestor, a wild horse found locally 40,000 years ago.”

From here, visitors can then walk the route dotted with interpretation panels and kinetic tree
sculptures created by Martin Smith. The eye-catching trees reference agricultural machinery,
and their reflective, brightly coloured leaves will complement their woodland walk setting. He
has also made interpretation panels, which offer information on the story of art, landscape,
and the historic estate.

The project has been made possible by a grant from the Rural Development Programme for
England (RDPE), part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
Lisa Gee, Director of The Harley Gallery and Foundation, said “We work to create spaces
where the imagination can flourish, and it’s wonderful to be able to take this vision out of the
gallery and into the local countryside. Bring the kids to run off some energy, or take a
contemplative stroll while you view the sculptures.”

– The Harley Art Trail is funded by the RDPE, and part-funded by European
Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. It includes sculptures by Michelle Reader
and Martin Smith.
– The trail is free admission and runs between The Harley Gallery at Welbeck and
Creswell Crags.
– Parking is available at both attractions. Please check opening hours online as car
parks are barriered out of hours.
– Visitors are advised that the trail route includes a road crossing. Please take care
when crossing the A60 as this is a fast road.

For More Information, Visit

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