Chaddesden Park Trail Markers

Chaddesden Park Trail Markers were created by artist David Mackie who worked with local school children from Lees Brook Community School to develop ideas and designs for two markers. Local Primary schools were also involved in a photography project entitled "Our Big Day Out" with photographic artist Paula Moss from the award winning Orange Dot Arts Collective who looked at the park area, initial ideas and possible locations for David to take forward with the Lees Brook Pupils.

"The ten students who were involved in the concept designs for the trail markers thoroughly enjoyed the design sessions they were involved in and are pleased that they could contribute to the creation of  a piece of public art that will benefit people in their local community who use Chaddesden Park"

Joe McColgan Director of Community Development, Lees Brook School, Chaddesden.

Trail Markers at Allsteel Fabricators Ltd during construction 

Trail Markers at Allsteel Fabricators Ltd during construction 


Our Big Day Out

Our BIG Day Out took place 4th April 2014 involved 2 primary schools Chaddesden Park and 1 secondary school of some 121 young people & 12 adults. The weather was sunny with a light breeze and we used iPad mini’s & compact digital cameras.

“Quite a few young people asked me afterwards if they could carry on taking photographs of the area and include their mum and dad. It was excellent to see the older students mentoring the younger ones and supporting them in their creative learning. The infant school who took part had recently invested in some brand new technology and the sessions they took part in were a great way of the pupils learning how to use them properly, in a supportive, creative way that was guided but not led by adults."

Paula Moss, Orange Dot Arts Collective


Overall Feedback:

1] they ‘liked’ more than they wanted ‘to improve’
2] nature featured strongly in the ‘likes’ especially flowers, trees, the brook, habitats, bird boxes, open green areas etc
3] rubbish, unloved/neglected spaces, dog poo and weeds featured strongly in the ‘things to improve’
4] lack of shelter from the sun or rain is a big issue.
5] the public toilets came in for much criticism.


Natural areas included a ‘secret’ pond, trees, bushes, shrubs, Chaddesden Brook
Pathways and sight line, The talking penguin bin, flowers, swathes of planting. Self seeders - Cowslips etc. BMX track. The war memorial at the Maine Drive side, The ‘Birds Nest’ Swing there were queues for this.



Workshops with Local School

Concept Design and Workshops


In July 2014, a series of co-creative design workshops took place in Lees Brook School in Chaddesden.  This enabled a group of young people to participate in the creation of ideas and imagery for artworks to be sited in Chaddesden Park. Further consultation took place both informally and at the Picnic in the Park event in July.


The aim of the project is to celebrate the character and diversity of the Park. The selected themes centred on : 1. Landscape : The Park’s Natural History and Biodiversity, 2. Heritage : Chaddesden Hall, local industry : silk and engineering, 3. Park life : allotments, sport, cycling, BMX and skateboarding.

Workshops :

A group of ten young people worked on the project for two days. The pupils  made very positive reflections on the selected themes and worked collectively. The themes were explored through discussion, drawing, design and making maquettes. A selection of their work is represented here which includes designs for threshold artworks, seating, fencing and markers. This work informs the concept design in form and content.


The Concept is to use a feather motif as a holding form for the artworks, this is in response to the rich natural history of the park and the discovery that Chaddesden hall was “ ornamented.....with a good collection of preserved birds of the most rare kinds and beautiful plumage. ”

The work will take the form of a series of markers that mark nodal points and act as an informal trail in the Park . The artwork will feature imagery  developed in the workshops. There are a number of possible options for the markers including stainless steel, cast iron, cast iron inlaid into timber or engraved timber. While marking meeting points they could also also assist in marking the cycle route and could act as orienteering features. The precise location, quantity and choice of materials will be concluded during the detailed design phase.


Warmest thanks are extended to the staff and pupils of Lees Brook School who facilitated and attended the design workshops and to  Paula Moss and the Mapping the City Project.