Dorset artist creates key piece of art for RHS Chelsea Garden

Dorset artist Simon Gudgeon, one of Britain’s leading contemporary sculptors, is creating a key piece of art for The RSPCA Garden which will be shown at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May. Simon is well known for his stunning animal sculptures and this piece will feature otters playing.

The bespoke bronze is inspired by rescue animals.

“I’m thrilled to have been asked to create a life-sized bronze for the RSPCA Garden. I often see otter tracks at Sculpture by the Lakes and sometimes I’m lucky enough to catch a glimpse of them playing in the water – it’s a magical sight and one that I can’t wait to see in what will be a stunning garden at RHS Chelsea.”

Simon Gudgeon

The Garden

The RSPCA Garden is designed by Martyn Wilson. It’s a contemporary interpretation of a wildlife sanctuary, inspired by native woodlands and the rehabilitation of wild animals that forms part of the RSPCA’s vital welfare work.

Created using a fusion of natural, sustainable and recycled materials, it demonstrates how we can have a positive impact on biodiversity and live as part of the natural environment.

In the corner of the garden sits a contemporary structure akin to a wildlife observation hide, enabling views out into the space. A natural stone feature wall, with contemporary bird nesting boxes, forms the rear. Laser-cut corten steel contains a modern interpretation of a ‘dead hedge’, which becomes a habitat for birds, mammals and insects, using recycled garden waste.

A rill, framed from recycled plastic, flows through the garden, creating movement and sound. It cascades into a pool, providing a spot for quiet contemplation, as well as a source of water for wildlife.

The whole space will be enclosed by hedging and a canopy of native trees and shrubs, essential for birds and wildlife. Planting will be in a multi-layered naturalistic style, in shades of green, whites and tones of ‘RSPCA’ blue, with pollinator-friendly plants.

The garden is a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the RSPCA, the largest animal welfare charity, which will continue to rescue, care for and prevent cruelty to all animals for the next 200 years and beyond. Animals are at the heart of this garden. Through its repurposing of litter that has harmed some of the many animals the RSPCA rescues, the garden inspires visitors to create safe, inclusive outdoor spaces for all creatures to share.

Planting/Colour Scheme
A calming palette of greens and whites contrast with darker clarets. The garden’s planting is inspired by a woodland setting in a multi-layered naturalistic style, enclosed by hedging and a canopy of native trees and shrubs that can be easily replicated in domestic gardens to inspire visitors to create safe, inclusive outdoor spaces for all creatures to share.