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David Cotterrell's pyramid installed in Forest of Dean

Timelapse film of the installation taken by David Cotterrell and Barney Lidster

A massive pyramid-shaped piece of art has been installed as part of a Gloucestershire sculpture trail.

The 1300 tonnes, 11m (36ft) tall earthwork has been designed for the Forest of Dean by David Cotterrell.

Hill33 is one of the most ambitious projects of its kind in the UK and can be seen near Beechenhurst Lodge.

Carolyn Black, Sculpture Trust projects director, said they were "very excited" to receive David's proposal as "it reflects the Forest's unique heritage".

The pyramid has been constructed using HESCO Concertainer units which are used by the Army to build shelters and structures in Afghanistan.

I wonder how long it will take for the forest to reclaim Hill33?
Carolyn Black, Sculpture Trust

Landfill reclaimed from Eastern United Coal Mine, in Ruspidge, has been used to fill the units which will eventually be claimed back by the forest as plant life takes root in the soil.

"To our knowledge, it is the highest HESCO structure ever made and the first sculpture in this particular material," added Carolyn.

"I love the way it slowly reveals itself between the trees. I wonder how long it will take for the forest to reclaim Hill33?"

'Idyllic vision'

Memories of Mayan temples hidden in the rainforests of Central America inspired artist David Cotterrell to do the piece as well as his experiences at Camp Bastion and Sangin, Afghanistan, where he was commissioned to visit as a war artist by the Wellcome Collection in 2008.

"My early visits to the Forest offered an unexpected series of contradictory perspectives," said David.

Hill33 sculpture in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
Plant-life in the forest will eventually reclaim the pyramid

"The glades of bluebells, dappled light and fabulous weather offered an idyllic vision of natural beauty.

"However, it's also a landscape shaped by historic industries and human intervention.

"Reclaimed through time, the residue of free-mining, charcoal burning and commercial forestry is discretely camouflaged beneath the prolific growth of plant life."

'Territorial Soldiers'

The 100 Field Squadron of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers were brought in to build the installation as a training exercise.

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Fisk, Commanding Officer Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers, said the task provided a great chance for soldiers to train for the very task they will conduct on operations.

"Using the very skills required of the modern-day military engineer on operations and under the watchful eye of the artist, the Territorial Soldiers used their training, experience and equipment to create Hill33," he said.

The Hill33 project has been commissioned by the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust who work with the Forestry Commission to keep the Sculpture Trail relevant.

It has been further supported by funding from the Gloucestershire Environment Trust and sponsorship from HESCO.

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