Call for children's artwork for ancient trees book

A yew tree in the grounds of Waverley Abbey
A yew tree in the grounds of Waverley Abbey was named the Woodland Trust's Tree of the Year in 2022 [PA Media]

Schoolchildren in England's "most wooded county" are being given the chance to have their artwork featured in a new book.

Children aged from four to 11 are being encouraged to create artwork for the inside covers of "The Thousand Year Tree".

Author Lucy Reynolds and illustrator Katie Hickey are working with a group of children from Weyfield Primary Academy in Guildford to create poems and timelines for the book.

Susan Wills, assistant director arts, culture, heritage and libraries at Surrey County Council, said the creative project would encourage learning about nature and Surrey’s ancient trees.

She said: "Surrey is England’s most wooded county and this project is a wonderful opportunity to educate children in the vital role trees play, from providing habitats for wildlife to absorbing carbon dioxide."

In 2022, a yew tree in the grounds of the Waverley Abbey ruins - thought to be more than 500 years old - was named the Woodland Trust's Tree of the Year.

Many trees in the county are more than 1,000 years old, according to the council.

Any art medium can be used for the book illustrations, and artwork should be themed around trees and nature, organisers said.

The book will be distributed across all 52 of Surrey’s libraries and to local schools.

The competition runs until 4 September and templates can be collected and returned to any Surrey Library.

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