A QUIRKY new sculpture has been installed in the depths of Dalby Forest to mark 100 years both since the creation of the Forestry Commission and since the end of the First World War.

The ghostly pale sculpture has been created by Turner Prize-winning artist Rachel Whiteread, who was at its launch on Monday.

The piece is a concrete cast of the interior space of a Nissen hut; the distinctive military structure invented by Major Peter Nissen during the First World War.

These prefabricated steel structures were easily put up and had a variety of uses, including as workshops, field hospitals, housing and even churches.

The work is part of Whiteread’s ongoing Shy Sculpture series, the aim of which is to cast and site “unassuming” buildings in the landscape.

Rachel said: “Nissen huts are an indigenous part of our post-war architecture. Placing this sculpture deep in the heart of Dalby Forest will lead visitors on a journey of discovery to its final resting place, a quiet memorial to these extraordinary structures.”

Nissen huts were also used to house labourers on Forestry Commission land after the organisation was established to replenish the nation’s timber reserves.

Ian Gambles, director of the Forestry Commission, said: “Dalby was one of the first forests to be planted by the Forestry Commission after we were founded almost 100 years ago in 1919. Whiteread’s sculpture is a moving testament to the lasting relationship we have had with our changing landscapes over the past century, and I look forward to seeing it evolve across the seasons as the forest continues to grow and change around it.”

The sculpture was commissioned by the Forestry Commission and the 14-18 NOW project, which over the past four years has sought to invite artists to create new work in response to the First World War.

The sculpture is sited in the Adderstone Fields area of the forest. It was re-sited from its initial proposed location following a backlash from villagers in Low Dalby, who had concerns about parking and visitor traffic through the village.