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By Instar

Inspired by the very creatures that, 65 million years ago, formed the foundations of the North Downs Way, ‘Coccolith’ invites visitors to take a seat and immerse themselves in this rolling and quintessential landscape.

This ‘Inspiring views’ commission, designed by artists INSTAR (Trish Evans and Nick Humphreys), is built using traditional dry-stone wall techniques, using a hand-picked selection of local ironstone rock excavated from the Titsey Estate along with ‘clunch’ chalk.

INSTAR chose to use dry stone walling for its earthy historical aesthetic and so as not to impinge on the natural beauty of the landscape, these walls are an omnipresent fixture of the UK countryside, dividing cattle and boundaries, often present along the routes and pathways of any given pilgrimage and importantly they are also home to plant life, lichens, invertebrates, birds and mammals. The top of this simple circular structure will be planted with native wildflowers that over the years will naturally flourish, attracting and nourishing wildlife and visitors alike.

In ‘the round’ a set of 5 cantilever stone style seats provide the perfect spot to take the weight off and absorb the valley and ‘Inspiring Views’, offering a restful, connecting and playful engagement en-route to the next destination. The seats are engraved with the words BUILT UPON TIME AND TIDE. Coccolith is partially set into the gentle slope of the chalk hills and offers a wonderful sense of invisibility and tranquility. Details and features within the Coccolith are left to be discovered by the visitor and add an additional dimension to the experience and journey.

North Downs Way Art Trail

Coccolith is part of the North Downs Way Art Trail – artworks along the Trail in Surrey and Kent that celebrate the local heritage, inspiring views, nearby communities and surrounding wildlife. Why not explore them all?

North Downs Way Art Trail

The Location

This artwork is situated on the Titsey Estate adjacent to the North Downs Way opposite Clarks Lane Farm, Tatsfield, TN16 2JT.

This project is co-financed by the European Union.



Instar is artist duo Nick Humphreys and Trish Evans. They create multi-disciplinary art work inspired by the natural world, from the oceans to the uplands, the urban to the rural. Their portfolio includes commissioned public art, exhibition design, installation, engagement and creative interpretation. Working collaboratively with partners including the National Trust, Nottingham Natural History Museum and the Wildlife Trusts.

With our deep relationship with nature, we have a passion to make a difference and to fight for the protection of the natural world.  We are rooted and committed to researching and developing our knowledge and experience, to further our understanding and awareness of the challenges and changes facing the natural world. Through our projects and collaborations, we believe we can restore a sense of wonder where one was lost, and build a fresh sense of wonder when one had never existed before, enthusing a creative approach to the natural world is the best way towards a future that loves and cares for the natural world.

Trish Evans and Nick Humphreys