A way-marked trail was developed in Watergate Forest Park around the lakeside to assist with access and improve the overall visitor experience. Sculptor Jim Roberts was commissioned by Gateshead Council to design and make a signboard, sculptures and way-markers which indicate the routes around the park. All the artwork produced has a link to either the original industry that occupied the site, Watergate Colliery, or is indeed linked to the flora, fauna or wildlife that can be encountered in the park. The designs were assisted by children who took part in practical workshops led by Jim at three nearby schools. The artworks are made from mild steel, forged and fabricated in Jim's workshop. They have been hot-dip galvanised, etch primed and two pack lacquered giving the sculptures a 'gun metal' finish. Jim Roberts is a Sunderland based Sculptor who has worked extensively in many parts of the North East region. 'My work involves the design, manufacturing and siting of sculptural steel artwork. It often entails my interaction with various community groups.
'I have worked in numerous locations in the North East producing site specific sculptural pieces for various outdoor settings. The history, location and the intended site all inspire the completed artwork. When creating site specific artwork it is important to ensure the work is robust as well as aesthetically pleasing in order to create a more desirable environment.'