Silverlake launches national sculpture competition

As part of our parent company, Habitat First Group’s 25th anniversary celebrations, we are thrilled to launch a competition with our neighbour, Sculpture by the Lakes, to find an artist who can create a new sculpture for our estate.

We will be looking for a piece that will recognise our estate’s heritage and our outstanding reputation for ecology. Some additional information on both of these aspects is provided below.

Potential site for the new sculpture; Outside our stunning yurt


Prior to becoming Silverlake, our site was known as RAF Warmwell, a site which was used as a training, fighter and Air Sea and Rescue base until 1944. 

A wide range of aircraft were based at Warmwell, including Hurribombers, Spitfires, Harrows, Overstrands, Sidestrands, Hawker Hinds, Fairey Battles, Seals and Wallaces.

In August and September 1940, at the height of The Battle of Britain, attacks focused on RAF fighter command airfields. The intention was to reduce aircraft in the sky, in order to invade the UK. Warmwell was repeatedly attacked and aircraft from Warmwell were constantly in action.

At the start of 1941 there were several more attacks on Warmwell, which caused a number of fatalities.

As a tribute to the people who were based at RAF Warmwell, all of the villages at Silverlake – Beaumont, Wakeling, Overton and Baxter – are named after pilots who were stationed at the site. In addition, the Hurricane Spa is named after the Hurribomber and the logo for Silverlake is the Spitfire.

We are also delighted that Knighton Heath Wood – part of the estate – has recently become home to a memorial plaque, courtesy of the Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust.


Silverlake is extremely rich in ecology and is home to over 1400 species. The woodlands and hedgerows are home to a diverse range of native wildlife year-round, including Dartmoor ponies, Sika Deer, Otters and an incredible range of birds, including Dartford Warbler, Woodlark, Sand martins and Nightjar. 

In late summer the heathlands turn an amazing shade of purple, as the heathers comes into flower and the lakes teem with brightly coloured dragonflies and damselflies and in autumn, striking Starling murmurations form over the lakes and reedbeds.

Judging Panel

The judging panel includes Red Paxton, Director of Habitat First Group and Silverlake, British Sculptor and Creator of Sculpture by Lakes, Simon Gudgeon, Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency and former BBC broadcaster, and Darren Northeast, Managing Director of Northeast PR, one of the South’s leading PR agencies. 

Potential site for the new sculpture; On the patio of our award-winning Hurricane Spa

What are the judges looking for?

A couple of our judges have expanded on what we will be looking for.

Red Paxton explained:

“Design is in our DNA and therefore it’s only right that we support the next generation of designers and artists through this competition. We’ll be looking for designs that speak to our beliefs as a brand and honour Silverlake’s history. 

“This year the Habitat First Group will be celebrating its 25th anniversary and this sculpture will form part of our year-long celebrations.”

Competition guidelines


The competition has opened for submissions and will close on 11th July 2021. The winning design will be co-created with Sculpture by the Lakes, before being unveiled at Silverlake in November 2021.


Submissions should be sent by email to with the subject, Sculpture Competition or by post to:

Sculpture Competition
Silverlake Dorset
Moreton Road

Back to Journal