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The Magic Wood makes magical memories

by Emily Maguire

More than 2,400 people visited Court Farm Woods in Halewood last weekend to experience ‘The Magic Wood’, created as part of Knowsley’s year as Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture Celebrations by outdoor arts experts, Walk the Plank.

From Friday 21 – Sunday 23 January thousands of people were mesmerised by the after-dark illuminated trail that featured a host of fiery attractions; from copper flowers that breathe fire and scorching sculptural trees to performances from Bring The Fire Project, harpist Rebecca Mills and a special family performance set in giant golden birdcage.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods and elected member for Halewood North said “This was an incredible one-of-a-kind event that captured the hearts and imaginations of the local community. Court Farm Woods was transformed into a magical theatre of music and light and it was fantastic to see so many people engaging with culture on their doorstep.

“This is just one of many fantastic events happening as part of Knowsley’s Borough of Culture year and I’d urge everyone to have a look online at some of the things we have coming up next. There really is something for everyone to enjoy.”

Tickets for the free event were highly sought with the first release in December selling out in a weekend and an additional release during the weekend of the event going in under an hour.

The Magic Wood was the second event in Knowsley’s year-long Borough of Culture programme, with Aqualux launching in Kirkby the previous week. Both attractions form part of ‘A New Dawn’ –  a series of moments of light across the borough. Still to come is arrival of Luke Jerram’s ‘Gaia’ to St Chad’s Church in Kirkby, an incredible, large scale community artwork which will be projected onto a tower block on Stockbridge Village, two world-class light installations in Huyton Village and a spectacular finale at Knowsley Hall.

The Magic Wood – Borough of Culture 2022

You can find out more about Knowsley’s Borough of Culture events at www.cultureknowsley.co.uk or by following @cultureknowsley on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

New Dawn

Gaia – 28 January to 17 February – St. Chad’s Church Kirkby

Luke Jerram’s ‘Gaia’ is an astonishing 6-metre-wide replica of the earth based on imagery and data from NASA. Suspended in the air and slowly revolving, the artwork – which will be housed in St. Chad’s Church in Kirkby – gives people a chance to see the planet, floating in three dimensions.

A specially made surround sound composition by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones is played alongside the sculpture.

Tall Tales – 4 and 5 February 2022 – 6pm onwards (last showing 7.30pm) – Stockbridge Village
Tall Tales is a brand-new large-scale community artwork that will see Merecliff – a residential 16 storey tower in Stockbridge Village (adjacent to the M57 motorway) – animated and illuminated in light. The dramatic projection which will be accompanied by a soundtrack, will tell the story of local people and communities who have shared their stories captured, interpreted and exaggerated by artists Illuminos.

Submergence – 12 to 26 February – Huyton Village Centre

Submergence, created by world renowned artists Squid Soup,  is a reflective, immersive walkthrough experience that will go on display in Sherbourne Square in Huyton Village. Consisting of thousands of individual points of suspended light, visitors are encouraged to enter the artwork to experience the amazing light illusion for themselves.

New Dawn Light Spectacular – 18 and 19 February – 2 showings per night 6pm and 9pm –  Knowsley Hall

The New Dawn programme will come to a spectacular climax over two consecutive evenings in February. In two showings per evening, the iconic Knowsley Hall will be illuminated in a series of dramatic projections recreating a vision of a pop-up story book – a fairy-tale of lights and sound telling the stories of Knowsley.

Delivered by video projection artist’s Illuminos and accompanied by an atmospheric soundtrack from renowned composer Patrick Dineen the spectacular will create a unique and memorable moment for all visitors. The ballot for tickets for this event has now closed.


  • If you have tested positive for COVID 19 or are displaying symptoms of the virus please do not attend
  • Guests are advised to take a lateral flow test before they attend. You can obtain lateral flow test kits here
  • Please check www.cultureknowsley.co.uk or follow @cultureknowsley on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for any updates

Borough of Culture

The Borough of Culture title was introduced by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. It is awarded annually on a rotational basis to one of the six local authorities that make up the Liverpool City Region.

The Borough of Culture is part of the 1% for Culture initiative which commits at least 1% of the Liverpool City Region’s annual gain share (£300k) to cultural projects/activities. Established as an annual award rotating around the boroughs, the Borough of Culture helps to celebrate, amplify and strengthen the existing cultural offer, develop new ideas and initiatives that will underpin future development and legacy.

Liverpool City Region is the first Combined Authority to have control over culture in its devolution deal, utilising many of the region’s existing assets and talent to stimulate cultural and creative opportunities.

The Borough of Culture was first launched in St Helens in 2018, followed by Wirral 2019, Sefton 2020, Halton in 2021 and is currently held by Knowsley for 2022. The programme rotation will recommence in 2023 back in St Helens.