An immersive and interactive free exhibition inspired by the ancient trees and forests of County Durham has gone on display.

Bishop Oakland, an installation by North East visual artist Bethan Maddocks, is now on show at Bishop Auckland Town Hall’s gallery, which is run by Durham County Council.

Visitors can explore a forest full of paper tree trunks, unfurling foliage and coloured leaves which they can touch, listen, play and add to.

The exhibition’s paper forest is inspired by the prehistoric ‘coal forests’ which created the coal seams beneath the region, and ‘Bishop’s Oak’ – a 400-year-old tree found in Wolsingham.

Visitors exploring the forest will find spotted trees and striped bark – patterns taken from fossil records of ancient tree relatives which grew in the area 250 million years ago. Looking up, they will find oak leaves, acorns, and rough oak bark representing the ancient native woodland of County Durham.

To find out more about the exhibition, as well as Bishop Auckland Town Hall’s upcoming programme of events, visit

Get CONSETT MAGAZINE straight to your inbox.

* indicates required


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here