Arts Projects

We are exploring a range of art projects currently. Our recent and existing projects are:

  1. Beauty and Utility at Avon Meadows
  2. Art and craft competition and calendar
  3. Community art in Gloucester with Flourishing Floodplains
  4. Community art in Oxfordshire 'Making Meadows' working with Alice Walker, Thames Valley Wildflower Meadow Restoration Project and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.


Beauty and Utility at Avon Meadows 

We teamed up with Meadow Arts, Wychavon District Council and Friends of Avon Meadows (FoAM) to develop an arts project based around Avon Meadows in Pershore, a site that is managed by FoAM and is undergoing restoration to a more flowery meadow.  Meadow Arts commissioned four Creative Practitioners from their network to develop a series of projects that engage with the community, reflect the seasons and capture the changing environmental conditions and biodiversity of Avon Meadows. The project ran between 2020-21. The artworks were intended to be a love letter to the site and the wider notions of beauty and utility associated with the ancient use of floodplain meadows in managing flood water, providing sustainable land management and community benefit.

The first Creative Practitioner to work at the site over the winter period was Andrew Howe, who ran a number of online workshops to show how to create paper from reeds and other plant materials before creating a final piece. Visit Andrew's blog to read the full piece and see more images photographed on-site.

This is Andrews finished piece:

The River’s Breathing, Avon Meadows

The second Creative Practitioner artist was Melanie Woodhead and you can read more about her work in her blog.

The third Creative Practitioner is Kate Raggett. She worked in June/July 2021 to create a mandala made of sheeps wool after the hay had been cut. 

Listen to Stories of the River, a series of sonic postcards, developed by artist Emma Plover. Recorded over digital and physical site visits to Avon Meadows, they consider the aura and area of the meadows, documenting the species and natural features, which inhabit and form part of the ecosystem.

Art and Craft Competition and Calendar 

Funded by the Morgan Family Bursary Fund and the William Dean Countryside and Educational Trust, we ran an art competition to raise awareness and highlight the plight of the nation’s floodplain meadows in 2021. The competition had more than 100 entries from across the UK and internationally. All the judges agreed that the imagination and creativity shown by all those who entered was outstanding. Creative approaches to the brief set by the competition ranged from soundscapes to embroidery, poetry to botanical illustrations with entries coming in from as far as Russia and Bangladesh. The winning pieces of art demonstrated the diverse role of floodplain meadows for biodiversity, flood water management, agriculture, and the importance of their preservation.

We were overwhelmed with the creativity and talent shown, and the response showed towards our beautiful floodplain meadows.  The winners were Alice Walker from Oxfordshire and Claire Cornish from Cumbria. All twelve winners were used in the 2022 calendar we produced and we will continue to use the artwork in a myriad of ways including promotional and marketing material.

Claire and Alice each received a prize of either a Field Studies Council voucher worth £250 or a hamper of floodplain meadow produce provided by Andy Rumming’s Beef.  The other winners can be found on the flicker album below:  

The entries can be found on the flicker album below: 

Family prize

There was also a special family prize for the Smith Badger family who received a ladybird house generously donated by the Wildlife Trust. 

Community art in Gloucester with Flourishing Floodplains

The Flourishing Floodplains project aims to restore the rich natural heritage of the Severn & Avon Vales by re-establishing priority wetland habitats, building capacity for floodplain restoration and management, and connecting people with the floodplain landscape. Healthy floodplain habitats support a diversity of plants and other wildlife, and provide us with a range of ecosystem services. The floodplains of the Severn & Avon Vales are particularly important for two rare and threatened species: the curlew and the European eel and the rare habitat floodplain meadows. 

Flourishing Floodplains runs from September 2021 until March 2023, with support from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund (GRCF). It is being delivered by a partnership of organisations comprising the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT); Floodplain Meadows Partnership, hosted by The Open University (FMP-OU); and Farm & Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG-SW).

We want to reverse the fortunes of the Severn and Avon Vale floodplain by creating and restoring wetland habitat and encouraging local communities to have a greater understanding of, involvement with and investment in their natural floodplain heritage. The purpose of the art project is to engage and build relationships with community groups in urban Gloucester who are traditionally under-represented in nature conservation. The city lies in the heart of the Severn Vales landscape, yet is fairly disconnected from its natural floodplain heritage.

The project has employed a local artist, Ella Daniel, to work with a number of community groups to complete a community art project that will be displayed in Gloucester.

Discover, Create & Celebrate: Making Meadows, Oxford 

We worked with the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, the Thames Valley Wildflower Meadow Restoration Project and an Oxfordshire based Artist (Alice Walker) to run a mix of activities in May 2023 working with community groups, conference delegates and families visiting the Museum to create an art work called ‘Making Meadows’. Find out more about this terrific weaving art work and the other activities we did here.

A range of resources have been developed through this work. These are now available in downloadable form and may be useful tools for family or educational workshops as well as talks and site visits:

  • Crafting Floodplain Meadow species (plants/ animals/ invertebrates) in wax stick/ pipe cleaners with printed references. These can be downloaded here (need to add in resources)
  • Drawing and colouring Floodplain Meadow species (plant/ animal/ invertebrate) colouring sheets and badges as well as individual coloured / b&w illustrations of species (again we need to link to resources)