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Birds in Flight sculpture unveiled at Wichelstowe

As Wichelstowe welcomes the first new residents to its next phase this spring, they will be greeted by a stunning new piece of artwork designed by chainsaw sculptor, Duncan Kitson.

‘Birds in Flight’ is a striking installation of five stainless steel birds clad in cedar taking flight across the development, held up by steel supports ranging from 3m to 6m in height.

The artwork, which was lifted into place this week, is complemented by two benches within the surrounding area of green space to provide a perfect place to sit and reflect. Also created by Duncan, these take the form of birds, mirroring the sculptures above.

Commenting, Duncan said: “This has been an incredibly enjoyable commission. Having worked on the sculpture in my workshop for a number of months I will be sad to see the birds leave however I’m excited to finally see the installation in its rightful place.”

Daniel Pavely, Project Director – Wichelstowe added: “It has been a pleasure to work with Duncan to position the artworks that overlook the pond and witness the birds being carefully craned into place. After months of construction work, The Orchards is now truly coming to life and we look forward to welcoming the first residents to their new homes over the coming months.”

Cllr David Renard, Leader of Swindon Council and Wichelstowe LLP Board Member, concluded: “The Wichelstowe Joint Venture is committed to the preservation of nature with hundreds of bird nesting bricks installed in the new homes at Orchards Rise, Orchards View and Wichel Fields to provide nesting habitats for a range of species. The Birds in Flight installation is reflective of this commitment to improve, preserve and protect the natural environment and create a better future for our communities.”

In addition to swift bricks, trees and planting in and around the development have also been specially chosen to provide food and shelter for wildlife.


Duncan is one of the most distinguished chainsaw sculptors in the UK. After spending his early working years felling trees in Newborough Forest, Anglesey, he discovered it was far more rewarding to carve trees instead of cutting them down. His work is mostly calm, peaceful, and tactile, inspired by the natural environment throughout the UK, Europe, Canada and the USA.

The artwork has been funded by Wichelstowe LLP and is one of a range within the site to celebrate the flora and fauna of Wichelstowe. 

Show homes at David Wilson Homes Orchards Rise development will open to visitors this weekend.

The Wichelstowe scheme, one of the largest local authority joint venture agreements in the country and the South West’s boldest new developments, is being built by Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes in partnership with Swindon Borough Council. It will deliver 3,000 new homes over the next 20 years, along with new schools and community facilities. The 250-hectare site on the southern edge of Swindon will include extensive open spaces, nature conservation areas, playing pitches and allotments.

As part of this neighbourhood residents can enjoy 12km of new nature trails, play areas, 200 acres of open space and walks along the Wiltshire and Berkshire canal. There is also a range of schools for children of all ages within easy reach.  Junction 16 of the M4 and Swindon train station are both within a ten-minute drive, providing easy access to Bristol and London.