27 November 2012

Young People Go Wild At Art

Students taking part in Froglife’s Green Pathways project from Ken Stimpson Community School completed a wildlife themed mural at an underpass in Peterborough last week.

The wildlife art session on was the culmination of 10 afternoons the young people have spent on the project at Cuckoos Hollow.  This has involved investigating the animals and plants in the area, exploring the habitats, learning skills in spray art and planning the design of the mural. All of this has been supported by a local professional artist Stuart Payn from Blok Collective. 
Part of the colourful mural created by Froglife's Green Pathways project

“The session in which the teenagers shined the most was during the community consultation, where they asked members of the public what they thought of the idea of the mural,” explained Rebecca Neal, Froglife’s Conservation Youth Worker running the Green Pathways project.  “The students have gained so much from this project.  It is great to see how their confidence has improved over the weeks and how keen they are to show off what they know.”

The mural is inspired by things the young people saw themselves or discussed with local people. The “caterpillar” which takes centre stage was something the group found whilst looking at trees close to the underpass. It was eventually identified by the national expert as an alder sawfly larvae; an animal which until 50 years ago was thought extinct in the UK. Now the mural is complete, the students plan to create a page on the school website which will link to the mural through a QR barcode, which anyone with a smart phone passing by can scan.  This will give information about the animals and plants in the picture to help people learn more about the wildlife they see on the site.

The night-time scene with the alder sawfly larvae found at Cuckoos Hollow
This project couldn’t go ahead without the support from grants and donations Froglife have received from BBC Children in Need, Perkins, The Wakeham Trust and J Paul Getty Junior Charitable Trust. Generous members of the public have also donated smaller amounts of money and every bit helps.

The mural is at the south end of Cuckoos Hollow, Werrington, Peterborough.