Little Thurrock Primary wins conservation art project

Thursday 23rd June 2016

Andrew Impey with winners Little Thurrock Primary

Little Thurrock Primary School have been crowned winners of Essex Wildlife Trust’s 2016 conservation-themed art project at Thurrock Thameside Nature Park (TTNP).

The Sculpture on a Pallet project encouraged Thurrock Primary School children to produce large sculptures that had to include at least one animal species found at TTNP that is listed on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. The art was judged by Essex Wildlife Trust’s team at TTNP.

Little Thurrock’s winning sculpture featured a girl and Herring Gulls and also referenced the nature park’s history as a landfill site beside the Thames. As winners, Little Thurrock pupils will receive a free habitat encounter day at TTNP this summer.

Forty sculptures were created, by 1,300 Year 4 and 5 pupils, across 23 schools. Second prize went to Graham James Academy, whose sculpture featured Skylark, Adder and Shrill Carder Bee, with Woodside Academy’s design, inspired by butterflies, the Cinnabar Moth and the Cuckoo, in third place. All schools received a certificate for their sculpture, of which 10 were “highly commended”.

Around 150 guests - headteachers, class teachers and selected pupils from the participating schools – attended the prize-giving, which was held outside in the nature park. Essex Wildlife Trust CEO, Andrew Impey, presented the prizes.

There were also literary prizes for conservation-themed poems accompanying the sculptures, where Aveley Primary took first place with a poem about the Wall Brown butterfly, followed by Hill Primary (Skylark) and Holy Cross Catholic Primary (Herring Gull). Sculpture on a Pallet was funded by Intergen, Coryton Energy Company; their plant manager, Simon Lark, handed out the literary prizes. “I was really impressed with all the hard work the children put in to creating these fantastic sculptures,” he said.

“This is a wonderful project of which Essex Wildlife Trust is very proud,” Leanne Clayton, Essex Wildlife Trust’s team leader and centre manager at TTNP, added. “The finished sculptures are a wonderful showcase of the children’s talent and we have been thrilled with the enthusiasm with which the children embraced the project. Little Thurrock are worthy winners. We would also like to thank Intergen, Coryton Energy Company for their generous support.”

Maria Shepherd, Chair of Thurrock Primary Headteachers Association, said: “This project has offered a fantastic opportunity for pupils to showcase their artistic talents through a media they might not always have the opportunity to experience: sculpture. It also importantly focuses children's attention on vital conservation issues.”

All the children’s sculptures will be on display at TTNP during the school summer holidays from 9 July, as part of the Thurrock Art Trail: www.thurrockarttrail.org.uk/.