The arts project
In partnership with Prism Arts we are bringing Eycott Hill Nature Reserve to life through the arts, including storytelling, creative writing, drawing, painting, animation, and textiles.
School children, adults with learning disabilities, and older people from the local community, have been inspired by the nature reserve, and used their imaginations and creative flair to bring the ancient landscape of Eycott Hill alive.
Animation and film making
The Edington Centre media group from Penrith took inspiration from stories written by local children, Cumbrian folklore, and Eycott Hill's unique geology to create the 'Eyes on Eycott Hill' animation with The Haltwhistle Film Project.
From planning the story, to filming on location, using blue screen and stop motion animation techniques, and writing and recording the script and sound effects they got involved in every aspect of creating an animated film.
Since making the animation The Edington Centre drama group have continued to develop the story and have created "The Trolls of Eycott Hill - they're bad 'uns", a play which has entertained audiences across Cumbria.
"Thank you, and the Wildlife Trust, for inviting us to be part of the project it is giving the guys a real buzz with the things they are getting involved in."Edington Centre
Children from local primary schools including Greystoke, Penruddock, St Herbert's in Keswick, Braithwaite, St Catherine's in Penrith, and Distington have visited the nature reserve and worked with artists from Prism Arts to craft wildlife, folklore, landscape, and imagination into wonderful tales of adventure. They were given free reign to respond to the nature reserve in their own way and showed us Eycott Hill as we'd never seen it before! You can read the stories from the first part of the project by downloading the document below, but work continues and more stories from Eycott Hill Nature Reserve are still to be revealed!
“…a very positive experience and one which has enriched the children’s curriculum - local geography, literacy, speaking and listening, as well as the arts.”Greystoke Primary School
Throughout the project textiles have been used to bring ideas to life, from the characters in the children's stories, to banners and puppets for a very special performance (coming soon!), and to capture an essence of the nature reserve, it's flower rich meadows, and the wildlife you might encounter there.
Children , adults with learning disabilities, and older people with dementia or in residential care, have all worked with artists from Prism Arts and Cumbria Wildlife Trust project staff to create beautiful pieces of work using fabric, wool, and felt.
Members of Amy's Care, the Edington Centre, and Eden Mencap created fantastic work inspired by Eycott Hill that has been exhibited in Carlisle and Penrith Libraries and in Tullie House Museum.
“I’ve been working hard today but it’s fun.”The Edington Centre
The culmination of a four year partnership between Cumbria Wildlife Trust and Prism Arts came to light in an outdoor theatre performance in June 2019. Eycott Hill Nature Reserve was transformed as more than 120 performers shared tales of tropical seas, legends of battling giants, warnings about mischievous faeries, stories of volcanic eruptions, and the adventures of intrepid explorers.
The Hill of Dreams was an outdoor theatre performance, made possible thanks to National Lottery Players, and support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, that shared stories written and performed by local people inspired by the natural heritage of Eycott Hill Nature Reserve including its wildlife, geology, and folklore.
Children from Braithwaite CofE School, Distington Community School, Greystoke Primary School, Penruddock Primary School, and St Catherine’s Catholic Primary School, plus adults with learning disabilities from Cumbria County Council’s Edington Centre and Prism Art’s Studio Theatre group wrote and performed the pieces with the support of professional artists from Prism Arts.
“The original visit to site inspired wonderful ideas, it was amazing to see those ideas transformed into a script and then a performance. Thank you to everyone involved. The children loved performing outdoors.”Braithwaite Primary School
Visit Prism Arts website to find out more.
Work at Eycott Hill Nature Reserve is possible thanks to National Lottery Players, and support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.