Football in the Forest

Football in the forest
Four football teams played in this unusual forest setting Photo: ITV Border

It was postponed in July because of the rain. So there was relief and excitement when the referee gave the thumbs up to football in the forest.

These were no ordinary football matches. Four teams had come together to play on a specially created pitch in a woodland clearing.

Forest Pitch, as it's known, is part sport and part arts event. It is one of Scotland's contributions to the Cultural Olympiad, which coincides with London 2012.

Most of the players have made their home in Scotland after living elsewhere. Canada, Nigeria and New Zealand were all represented on the pitch. Some of those taking part had found refuge here after escaping violence in countries like Afghanistan.

Spectators at Forest Pitch
Spectators braved the rain to watch the players in action Credit: ITV Border

I think it shows you the amount of people who came to the sessions what they think of Scotland because I think they think it is a great country and a great opportunity to start life again

– Robert Hare, Street Soccer Scotland
Forest Pitch
Many of the players have come to Scotland from elsewhere Credit: ITV Border

Forest Pitch is the brainchild of the artist Craig Coulthard. He was inspired by memories of his childhood, playing football in a forest while living in Germany.

I was interested in creating a space in a forest that would host games between people from all over the world and in that way, celebrate the common language of football.

– Craig Coulthard, artist

Forest Pitch will leave its mark on the landscape for years to come. Trees will be planted along the lines of the pitch to create a lasting reminder of the event.

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