The Ash Project – Ash Keys to the Future

Date: Phase One: Spring-Summer 2017 / Phase Two: Spring-Summer 2018

Location: Brockhill Country Park (Folkestone), King’s Wood (Challock) and Vinters Valley Nature Reserve (Maidstone)

Funded By: Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Kent County

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The Ash Project is a two year major project that has been conceived and developed by the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Unit and is an urgent cultural response to the devastating effects of ash dieback in the Kent Downs.  There are 150 million ash trees in England, Scotland and Wales. Ash dieback is widely accepted to be untreatable and could see the demise of 90-98% of these trees over the next decade.  Outdoor Studios are working with The Ash Project to devise and deliver the education project to involve fifteen Kent schools over two years.

Phase One

Artist Martin Brockman worked with six schools from across Kent to create memories of Ash.  Working with students for a half day in each school and then a full day on location in either King’s Wood, Brockhill Park or Vinters Valley Reserve.  The participants created a series of chalk, ink and charcoal drawings made through mapping the environment and exploring the Ash trees particular properties and placing it in the art and culture of our past.  The workshops looked at the future challenges facing ash trees in our landscape and reflected on our hopes for the future.

Participants were students from Eastborough Primary School, Greenfields Community School, St Eanswythe’s Church of England School, St Simon of England Roman Catholic School, Furley Park School and Enterprise Learning Alliance.

Phase Two

Phase two will begin in Spring 2018 and will involve a further nine schools from across rural Kent.  If you would like to participate please email Outdoor Studios on

If you are a trainee teacher and would like some experience volunteering with Outdoor Studios, please get in touch. All volunteers will need to have passed their DBS checks.


The Ash Project has also commissioned a major new environmental art work by internationally recognised artists Ackroyd & Harvey.  The Ash project are running a timetable of free public events, please see their website for further information