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Risley Moss
Risley ROF
Walled Garden
Business Parks
Warrington Rd
Autumn Images

All photographs on these pages are the property of Brian Tuohey unless otherwise stated.

They may not be re-published in any form without written permission, but may be downloaded for personal use.

Requests for commercial or charitable use of these or any other photographs will be considered.

Please do not link directly to pictures or image pages. Links to gallery pages are welcome.

About me

Gateway to Birchwood

Photo Gallery | History


The Encounter sculpture was built and put in place in 2002 as a gateway to Birchwood and a distinctive symbol of the area.  It is situated on a small triangle of land at the end of Birchwood Way where the road joins Junction 11 of the M62 motorway.  It can be seen easily if you are travelling eastbound on the motorway (towards Manchester), but is more difficult to see from the westbound carriageway unless you leave at Junction 11.

The photos below were all taken from Pestfurlong Hill and Gorse Covert Mounds from which there are excellent views of the sculpture as it rises majestically above the trees.

Below the photos I've added a few words on the history of the Encounter sculpture.

My Other Encounter Galleries
On my other website, galleries page:
On the Birchwood Community Church website:


Photo Gallery

Encounter in 2011
A small collection of photos that I took in 2011.

Floodlit, January 2008
It was more than three years since Encounter had been illuminated, but it was working again for a short while in January 2008.  For a week so so, it was illuminated with a yellow-white light which was then changed to a pink-white.  Sadly it didn't last.  These photos were taken from Gorse Covert Mounds during the first two weeks of January 2008.

September Sun, 2007

Springtime Sunset, April 2007

Autumn's Changing Colours, November 2006

Summer, July 2006

Early Floodlighting, August 2003
These photos were taken hand-held on an older camera, without the aid of a tripod.



The initial idea for the sculpture came from the Birchwood Forum and they commissioned artist Stephen Broadbent to design it.  The sculpture was built locally in Birchwood during 2002, assembled during October of that year and completed in November.  Its design is based on two figures flying through the air together, symbolising the relationship and interchange between business and the local community.  It also takes reference from the distinctive peeling bark of the birch tree, such a common feature of the local area, and the swarf from a lathe, highlighting the engineering heritage of Warrington.

It was constructed from a combination of mild steel and cast aluminium, coated in a durable protective outer layer.  It stands 28 metres or 91 feet high and is one of England's tallest pieces of public art.  It also houses a mobile phone transmitter.  This helped to fund it and gives the sculpture an ongoing functional aspect.

During 2003, Encounter was floodlit at night, as seen in some of the photos above.  Later that year, in November, there was a formal unveiling ceremony to mark the anniversary of its completion, and about the same time, a new hi-tech multi-coloured lighting system was switched on.  Encounter remained floodlit until about the end of 2004.  For the next three years, it was left in darkness, being illuminated only by the security lighting of a nearby warehouse.  This changed briefly for a period from new year 2008.

Encounter has become a popular and well recognised symbol of Birchwood, and images of it are used by a wide range of local companies and organisations.


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Updated 18/09/11