www.thefriendsoffairydell.co.uk is owned by the Friends’ group. Last updated 10 July, 2020 

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Winners, recognised for supporting our local community.

Fairy Dell - Awards for All Lottery Grant - Summer 2009


The aim of this project was "to promote the opportunities and increase the understanding of Fairy Dell".  We hoped to encourage the use of this countryside area to those people who pass it daily with barely a glance. The Friends' group continue to work with The Countryside Team of Middlesbrough Council to further improve this beautiful area in the centre of housing.  It is a haven of peace, with wildlife and biodiversity for the community to enjoy.  Emphasis is placed on encouraging local primary schools to use Fairy Dell throughout the year and participate in activities held there.

The project included:

 a)  the distribution of a promotional leaflet;

 b)  four guided walks undertaken in Fairy Dell;

 c)  two workshops provided training in plant identification;

 d)  four local Primary Schools had lessons from a botanical artist, culminating in    an art competition between them;

 e)  a one day Festival provided relevant events and activities for local families;

 f)   wildflower plug plants were planted in the gardens of the four schools;

 g)  all remaining funds were used to create a wildflower meadow in Fairy Dell Park planted by Martin Allen, Wildflower Ark.

The funding for the art work in the four primary schools gave an exceptional experience to the children involved.  Each school chose its group of children (8 - 10 year olds) by differing criteria.  A professional botanical artist, Martin Allen, from Wildflower Ark, taught the children in exactly the same way that he teaches adult classes, except that the adults would have three days to complete a painting, whereas the children had only one day.  The task was to draw a wildflower as botanically accurate as possible.  The children had a 15 minute demonstration from Martin and were then given one hour to draw their plant.  Next, the children learnt how to accurately transfer their drawing on to a piece of watercolour paper.  It was the first time that most children had used water paints and some found the work difficult, which was why their initial drawings were also later displayed.  Martin then gave them a ten minute demonstration on how to paint and the children had one hour to colour in their drawings.  While they were working, Martin, with the class teacher and class assistants, went around helping and encouraging the children.  The children were able to concentrate on their paintings and drawings throughout the day.  Martin was impressed by how hard they tried at every task and how they were always willing to try again.

Martin assessed the children’s work, deciding which three per class were worthy of special comment