The Dream, Bold Forest Park
Dream is the spectacular, internationally significant, landmark sculpture sited on the former Sutton Manor Colliery in St.Helens, just over the border into Merseyside.
The 20 metre-high artwork takes the form of a young girl’s head with her eyes closed in a seemingly dream-like state. The piece has a white, almost luminescent finish its contours and reflectivity change according to the time of day and the weather.
Dream was conceived and designed by the world-renowned, award-winning, Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. His other works include The Crown Fountain (2000) in the centre of Chicago and Breathing, the illuminated glass dome of BBC Broadcasting House in London. Commissioned by ex-miners and St.Helens Council, the sculpture reflects the aspirations of the local community, who, far from wanting a mining monument, sought instead a forward-looking piece that would provide a beautiful, inspiring, contemplative space for generations to come. Costing approximately £1.8m the funds were secured through The Big Art Project in coordination with the Arts Council England, The Art Fund and Channel 4. the sculpture's working title was "Ex Terra Lucem" ("From the earth, light"), a reference to St Helens' motto.
Bold Forest Park
The Dream is situated in the Bold Forest Park, which straddles the M62 between Junctions 7 and 8. At its heart are areas of community woodland planted at the former colliery sites of Colliers Moss, Clock Face and Sutton Manor. The park boundary also takes in woodland at Wheatacre, Maypole and Griffin Wood and a wider area of urban fringe farmland. Over the last 15 years, this area of south St Helens has been transformed from an unsightly collection of brownfield land surrounding a failing coal mine into a budding Forest Park. Already the sites, which straddle the M62, form an attractive gateway to Merseyside and a valuable natural resource. Trees at Griffin Wood, Maypole, Sutton Manor and Wheatacre can be dedicated to loved ones through the Dedicate a Tree scheme.
From the highpoints there are excellent distant views which on a clear day encompass Manchester, Kinder Scout in the Peak District National Park and Winter Hill on the West Pennine Moors in Lancashire.
The area now boasts a rich variety of diverse flora and fauna with areas of deciduous woodland containing native species such as ash, oak, wild cherry and silver birch. Swathes of native wild flowers are to be found in the meadow areas and woodland rides including purple loostrife, early marsh/ spotted orchid, ox eye daisy and ragged robin adding splashes of colour in season. Birds of prey provide regular sightings, with kestrels often being spotted hovering over the grassland in pursuit of small mammals and the much larger buzzard soaring high overhead, preying on the area's large population of wild rabbits. The elevated boundaries at the south of the site look out over adjacent agricultural land and provide sightings of both foxes and hares.
Autumn colours at Bold Forest Park
Please note that due to the gradient of the path, the summit of Sutton Manor has never been easily accessible to wheelchair users.