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Giant forest eye will inspire youngsters to address climate change, say artists

The artwork, featuring 5,000 beech, maple and alder trees, is being planted in Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire.

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Members of Forestry England, arts organisation Sand In Your Eye, the Environment Agency and local school children start the process of planting 5,000 beech, maple and alder trees in the shape of a child’s eye to create a 300-metre-wide forest eye in the heart of Dalby Forest in Low Dalby, Thornton-Le-Dale, Pickering, North Yorkshire (Danny Lawson/PA)

Members of Forestry England, arts organisation Sand In Your Eye, the Environment Agency and local school children start the process of planting 5,000 beech, maple and alder trees in the shape of a child’s eye to create a 300-metre-wide forest eye in the heart of Dalby Forest in Low Dalby, Thornton-Le-Dale, Pickering, North Yorkshire (Danny Lawson/PA)

Members of Forestry England, arts organisation Sand In Your Eye, the Environment Agency and local school children start the process of planting 5,000 beech, maple and alder trees in the shape of a child’s eye to create a 300-metre-wide forest eye in the heart of Dalby Forest in Low Dalby, Thornton-Le-Dale, Pickering, North Yorkshire (Danny Lawson/PA)

An image of giant child’s eye made of trees will inspire youngsters to find solutions to climate change, its creators have said.

Forest Eye is being planted in Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire, from 5,000 beech, maple and alder trees and will be 300 metres (984ft) wide when it is complete.

Local school children began the planting on Tuesday for what is destined to be the biggest planted forest feature in the country, Forestry England said.

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Children from a local school help start the process of planting the trees (Danny Lawson/PA)

Children from a local school help start the process of planting the trees (Danny Lawson/PA)

Children from a local school help start the process of planting the trees (Danny Lawson/PA)

The project is aimed at focusing attention on climate change and showing the role of forests in tackling it.

Forest Eye is being created by installation specialists Sand In Your Eye, in partnership with Forestry England and the Environment Agency.

Sand In Your Eye’s Jamie Wardley told the PA news agency: “This really is about inspiration. It’s about changing.

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The project will plant 5,000 beech, maple and alder trees (Danny Lawson/PA)

The project will plant 5,000 beech, maple and alder trees (Danny Lawson/PA)

The project will plant 5,000 beech, maple and alder trees (Danny Lawson/PA)

“A lot of our work is about trying to affect people inside and effect an emotional response, really.

“Because, once you get that emotional response, you get a mental response.

“It’s capturing the hearts and mind of people to make change, to make adaptation.”

Mr Wardley added: “We’re planning to do a whole forest of humanity with a giant face looking to space, inspiring the world.

“And the eye is the beginning of that.

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“The eye is the eye of a child looking out to the world, looking at how we’re going to deal with climate change.”

Mr Wardley said: “The children here today are the generation that’s going to be affected by climate change.

“So it’s really important to really engage with them and show them that the problem can be stopped but it’s got to be dramatic change.”

The installation will be visible on Google Earth when it is grown in about six years’ time, and it should be in place for more than 100 years.

Alan Eaves from Forestry England said the eye comprises a mixture of trees selected to be climate resilient in the years to come.

Mr Eaves said: “It’s all about having a conversation about climate change and the devastation of biodiversity and creating resilient forests.

“It’s all about engaging with people.”

He said: “It’s not just art for art’s sake – although there’s nothing wrong with that.

“All of the works engage with the environment, the place.”

Mr Eaves added: “That’s why it’s so important engage with children because they are going to be ones who are going to have to deal things in the future.

“It’s a fantastic idea – a child’s eye looking out, looking out at what we’re doing for the future.”

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