Chester, Designed by Nature

A six-month community arts project

Storyhouse is proud to be home to a wide variety of communities and groups whose members come together over a shared interest, skill or activity. 

The last year has been a challenging time – for Storyhouse, for our communities, and for many talented artists in Chester whose opportunity to create work has been affected by the pandemic. 

Now life is starting to return to normal, Storyhouse is keen for those communities to reconnect – with each other, with the city and with creativity. 

Thanks to a grant from the European Regional Development Fund, Storyhouse is now launching a new six-month community arts project called Chester, Designed by Nature. 

It aims to embrace and explore the world that surrounds us through a free programme of art, activities, performance, storytelling and amazing large-scale sculptural interventions which will appear across the city. 

The project has three seasonal bursts, to be developed in collaboration with Cheshire-based outdoor arts specialists Wild Rumpus CIC and with brilliant Chester creatives, and these will unfold in city centre spaces as we move through the next few months. 

Each one offers the opportunity for Chester communities, along with established and emerging artists and performers, to get involved. 

Chester is a city which has a rich natural environment which is sometimes found in unexpected places. 

Designed by Nature is a chance to be inspired by our surroundings and develop a renewed appreciation for, and a different perspective on, the world around us.  

Funding to provide the services in this tender is being sought from the Welcome Back Fund (WBF). WBF is managed by Her Majesty’s Government and is supported by the European Regional Development Fund. The project is receiving more than £300,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit

The three bursts are: 


A cosy nest built within the city where guided activities using hibernation as inspiration can be enjoyed. At times, it will also become a free flowing space for anyone to experience and enjoy the magic of the cosy nest. It’s a place to explore and a place to rest. 

The Night Sky 

As we head towards winter, the project’s focus takes us up into the night sky above Chester searching for a roving cresent moon.  

Spring Blooms 

The New Year means new life and Spring Blooms is an opportunity to celebrate that with work or activities around ideas of gardening, growing food, rewilding, recycling or sustainable travel – in the process placing the natural world at the very heart of our daily lives.


Please aim to get in touch with your idea by midday on Wednesday 29 September. 

We’re looking for artists to take part – find out more

We’re looking for communities to take part – find out more

If you’re keen to get involved please complete the form below, we’d love to hear from you

Chester, Designed by Nature - get involved!

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Storyhouse is a charity.
After the most challenging year in our history, we still need your support to help us recover.
Here’s how you can help support the future of Storyhouse.