A hidden ‘earth artwork’ by renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy is being restored by our volunteers on the Coast to Coast Cycleway (National Route 7) in the South Pelaw area.
The Lambton Earthwork was created in 1988 and stretches almost 300 metres in a serpent shape along the popular cycle route. It was created from spoil from the local colliery and over time the earth has evolved and sunk to become part of the local landscape. Self-sown trees have grown onto the earth structure so it is virtually obscured, while pools of water around the structure attract interesting wetland species.
Volunteers are working with the our North East Land Management team to begin careful restoration of the structure, to make the artwork more accessible and maintain existing habitats.
The artwork is known locally as the ‘Lambton Worm’ after a local North East legend in which a son of Lord Lambton, out fishing in the River Wear one day, caught only a worm. Disappointed, he threw his catch into a nearby well and over the years the worm grew into a monster that roamed the countryside, and inspired a local folk song.
Gina Clarke, our Land Manager in the North East said: “Many local people do not realise that the artwork is there, as it has evolved and changed to become part of the landscape. We hope to carry out some sensitive restoration work over the next few years with volunteers to make the artwork more accessible, whilst ensuring that the many wildlife habitats that have developed around the structure remain undamaged.”
The Coast to Coast stretches 140 miles from the Irish Sea (Whitehaven) to the North Sea (Tynemouth) and attracts around 15,000 visitors every year.
Further volunteer events will take place to remove overgrowth of trees and scrub, and make minor repairs to access paths to ensure the sculpture remains accessible.