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Community Art Project: West Chesterton Animal Trail

On Saturday 3rd October the West Chesterton Mutual Aid group launched their community animal trail art project bringing colour to the streets of Cambridge through a series of installations. This public initiative is designed to encourage local residents of all ages to stay active and creative throughout Autumn/Winter and the project is set to evolve well into early-Spring next year!

The West Chesterton Animal Trail is one of many inspirational creative responses we have witnessed throughout the Covid-19 pandemic – with so many communities coming together to keep smiles on faces and show their support to key workers through various artistic endeavours.

We have also admired the way in which organisations have adapted events to enable them to go ahead this year and are thankful to those who have made events more accessible to people who are house-bound, in quarantine or shielding. West Chesterton Mutual Aid say: “What differentiates the Chesterton Animal Trail from some others is its inclusivity. The trail is available on a map and will be documented with photographs available online so that people can take part in different ways.”

Image by Lucinda Price, West Chesterton Mutual Aid

West Chesterton Mutual Aid is one of many local volunteer community groups that was established earlier this year to support residents due to the coronavirus – and over the last six months they have done vital work helping to complete hundreds of essential tasks for those shielding in the area.

As cases start to rise again across the country the group were keen to do something to lift spirits, lead organiser and local photographer Lucinda Price says: “We are really excited to launch a project to help create some safe and fun activities for our community over the winter.”

Image by Lucinda Price, West Chesterton Mutual Aid

Pictured above is illustrator and designer Ella Beech who is currently studying for an MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University. Ella has created a wonderful window display for the trail featuring a squirrel monkey and tiger – see Animal 18 on the trail map which you can access here.

More and more creatures will be making their way by land, river and air to the north of the city throughout October. From cuddly animals to creative masterpieces, residents are encouraged to join in and can get their animals added to the map by contacting the group. Keep an eye out for the flock of flamingos and other animals currently installed at the entrance of Victoria Park as well as for Gordon the Giraffe who has settled in nicely with those at Cambridge Manor Care Home; as seen below with Sheila Cracknell, George Bacon, Howard Varey and Marissa Worrell.

Image by Lucinda Price, West Chesterton Mutual Aid
Image by Lucinda Price, West Chesterton Mutual Aid
Image by Lucinda Price, West Chesterton Mutual Aid
Image by Lucinda Price, West Chesterton Mutual Aid

Cambridge City Council have worked closely with many groups to help build local resilience. Lucinda Price, Clara Todd and their team of volunteers at West Chesterton Mutual Aid have been well supported by Cllr Jamie Dalzell and Cllr Mike Sargeant (pictured above). If you are in Cambridge – or further afield – you can see if there is a community support group in your area via the Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK website here.

Find out more about the animal trail by following the group on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to tag any images you share on social media with #ChestertonTrail and you could also use our community tag #CambsCreativeTreasures too – we would love to see what animals you spot along the way!

Keep up-to-date with what is happening across Cambridgeshire’s creative scene by subscribing to receive our latest news posts via email – and follow our #CambsCreativeScene tag on Instagram.

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