On 25th August 2012, two amateur football matches took place in a Scottish forest, as part of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival. Forest Pitch by Craig Coulthard is a celebration of art and sport that revives the original spirit of the modern Olympics.

About Forest Pitch

Forest Pitch saw the creation of a full-size football pitch in the middle of a Spruce plantation in the Scottish Borders. The site was used as a football pitch for one day, before being left to grow back and be reclaimed by nature.

The teams – two male and two female – consisted of amateur players from all over Scotland, some whom had never played football before. The majority of the players were recent British citizens or those with Leave to Remain.

Watched by around 500 spectators and followed on line via a live internet broadcast, the players wore unique and imaginative team strips designed by Scottish school children, and manufactured by Copa.

Spruce trees felled to make space for the pitch were used to create the goalposts, benches and a changing room.

In December 2012, the site was planted with over 800 native trees along the white lines of the pitch, creating an evolving, living sculpture. The site will be freely accessible to the public for up to 60 years.

This artwork invites us to explore our views on landscape, memory, diversity, community, competition, ecology and national identity.

Forest Pitch was part of the London 2012 Festival and is an Artists taking the lead commission supported by Creative Scotland in partnership with the Arts Council of England.

View project credits

For more information please contact craig@craigcoulthard.com.

Forest Pitch – Directed by Nick Gibbon

Project Credits

Forest Pitch is an artwork by Craig Coulthard.
The matches took place on 25/08/2012.
Part of the London 2012 Festival & Cultural Olympiad.

Produced by


Funded by

Creative Scotland National Lottery Funding

Match Day Producers

Culture Creative

Media and PR

Drummond-Ferroni and New Century PR

Landscape Architects


Pitch Contractor

Souter Sport

Changing Room Architects

Gareth Hoskins Architects

Changing Room Engineers

Goodsons Associates

Changing Room Contractors

Caledonia Log Homes


Team Portraits

Angela Catlin
Jamie Simpson

Site Photography

Brian Sweeney

Additional Photography

Aaron Sneddon
Angela Catlin
Brian Sweeney
David Aikenhead
Erika Stevenson
Jamie Simpson
Douglas Hardie


Emlyn Firth at a visual agency


David Kelly Design Office


Afghan FC
Anniesland College
Borders Art Trust
Bowhill Country Estate
Buccleuch Group
Clydebank College
Creative Scotland
Edinburgh Art Festival
Edinburgh Brass Band
Edinburgh College of Art
Edinburgh Mela
Education Scotland (ESOL)
Glasgow Central Mosque
Glasgow City College
Glasgow Life
Heriot Watt University
School of Textiles Karibou
Kirkhope Primary School
North Glasgow College
Saltire Society
Scottish Amateur Football Association
Scottish Association of Mental Health
Scottish Ethnic Minority Sports Association
Scottish Football Association
Scottish Football Museum
Scottish Refugee Council
Scottish Womens Football
Selkirk Rugby Football Club
Sport Borders
Street Soccer

Players and coaches

Jeannie Adams
Cees Akkermans
Alistair Anderson
Kate Andrews
Liane Bauer
Leonie Bell
Stuart Bennett
Kirsten Body
Lesley Booth
Zoe Bottrell
Angela Catlin
John Darbyshire
Juliet Dean
Louise Donoghue Duke of Buccleuch
Mike Farrell
Emlyn Firth
Cameron Foster
Allison Gibbs
Charlotte Hodges
Chris & John Houston
Drew Kelly
Karoline KupratBree Leask
Andy McGregor
Jim McVee
Nicola Milazzo
Michael Moore MP
Colin Parker
Ewan Regan
Graham Reid
Karen Ridgewell
Gina Scott
Matthew Shelley
Donald Simpson
Janice Smith
Robert Tait
Jane Warcup

Forest Pitch photo