In the depths of 2020, somewhere between lockdowns 1 and 2, we launched a competition open to school-age children to design artwork to try to persuade people not to drop litter on our local streets. We had seen similar projects in other countries, but not many in the UK, and were really keen to try it as a fun and engaging way to discourage people from littering. The premise behind the project is that a lot of our road drains can lead straight into our waterways – rivers, local harbours and seas. Litter dropped on the street can be washed with rainwater into the drains and out into our waters, polluting ecosystems and potentially harming wildlife.
We had over 80 designs submitted by local schoolchildren, and ended up choosing 15 that we would install on our local streets. We had a few issues obtaining permissions at first but finally got the news from the Highways Agency that it was all systems go! You can see all the designs that were submitted by schoolchildren, including the winners, here. It was so difficult to choose but we picked out the successful designs – they were all wonderful and every child that submitted a design can be rightly proud of their wonderful artwork. The ones we chose were picked as they really lent themselves to being used in the spaces we had available.
We have enlisted the help of a brilliant local artist, Deborah Hochreutener, to slightly amend each design to make it fit, and she has started painting! You can find out more about the project here:
And please remember – only rain down the drain!