Hogchester Arts is a not for profit artist residency program located on a beautiful 75-acre conservation site in rural West Dorset.
Founded by artist Chantal Powell.
Hogchester is an ancient Dorset farmstead situated one mile from the sea at Charmouth and close to Lyme Regis, one of the Jurassic Coast's most famous coastal towns.
The private conservation site is a rich, diverse landscape including ancient trees, fields, streams, orchards, woodland, wildflower meadows and extensive ponds. It has a deep rooted local history with the land formerly being part of the Forde Abbey Estate (a Cistercian Monastery). Druids were active here and two of their gold containing Yew wands have been found in the area. Stone Age axe heads have also been found on the land. The site is ripe for reimaginings of myth and magic.
Today Hogchester has charitable status for its conservation works. Meadows have been reseeded with wildflowers and grasses native to the area, and a re-wilding project is currently underway in other areas. The site is recognized as an important bird migration and breeding area, and eight species of bat have been recorded including the rarest species in the UK – the grey-long eared bat. The land is managed sympathetically with low density grazing from rare breed Soay sheep to allow the rich and varied wildlife to flourish.