The Flock

The installation

A flock of 10,000 birds came home to roost on the East Front lawn at Wentworth Woodhouse. Each small wooden bird was a symbol of freedom and marks how people pulled together in the COVID-19 crisis.

They formed a huge art installation in the shape of a giant tree. Midlands-based artists Julie Edwards and Ron Thompson of Planet Art developed their artwork to inspire people to engage with the arts, culture and heritage on their doorstep and create a piece of social history.

The project

The Flock concept art

The Flock was the first of three large-scale installations created by artists appointed by Wentworth & Elsecar Great Place and Wakefield-based arts organisation Beam. Others are planned for Wentworth Castle Gardens and Elsecar Heritage Centre in Barnsley.

The legacy

The installation was free to visit, but Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust encouraged those who can afford to make a donation towards the Wentworth Woodhouse Fundraising Appeal. During Lockdown the house was closed and the charity has been unable to generate income to help it carry on its important restoration work.

Now that the installation is no longer in place, the birds will have a new life. Five hundred have been selected to buy to raise money. These are available for only £10, with optional engraved stands and commemorative frames in our online shop.

The Flock collectible bird options

The stories

We would love to hear your personal stories about the project. If you have something you would like to share then contact us.

Paul, Elsecar

Paul visited The Flock installation last autumn after reading about it in our posts on Twitter. During summer his bird will live in his garden.

Then in winter, it will nest in my living room alongside my South Yorkshire miners’ lamps, appropriate as Wentworth Woodhouse has such a strong link to mining.

I thought it was wonderful. It was great to go up on the walkway and look down on the installation. I thought it gave something special to the lawn in front of the house. I bought a bird because it struck me as being a nice way of supporting the house, and also having a souvenir of something I thought was a little bit magical.

Collectible bird from The Flock, bought by Paul, Elsecar