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What 'A Celebration of Cranes'!

After a big build up, it finally happened... and it did not disappoint!


Photo - John England.  One of two giant cranes made at community workshops during Somerset Art Weeks.

On Saturday afternoon a crowd of several hundred people gathered at The Willow and Wetlands Centre in Stoke St. Gregory in anticipation of 'A Celebration of Cranes'  - a joint project between Somerset Artworks (SAW) and The Great Crane Project.


Photo - Nisha Haq. Crane head-dresses  made by pupils at Stoke St. Gregory school.

Celebrating 5 years since the start of a project to re-establish the common crane to the Somerset Levels and Moors the 'Celebration of Cranes' has brought together artist Sarah Butterworth, local school children and members of the local community to create some fantastic art work.


Photo - Nisha Haq. Dragonflies -  made by pupils at North Curry Primary school.

The performance took place during The Willow and Wetlands Christmas Craft Fayre and started with a procession of dragonfly lanterns and crane head-dresses sported by the children of North Curry and Stoke St Gregory primary schools. Headed up by two amazing willow crane sculptures. All of this was supported by the Big Noise Street Band who really did live up to their name!


Photo - Nisha Haq. Children's Choir from North Curry and Stoke-St. Gregory primary Schools

The procession gathered in the lower courtyard and spectators were treated to a crane dance performed by pupils of Heathfield Community School wearing costumes they had made themselves and a crane song written and performed by the pupils of Stoke St Gregory! Again this was accompanied by the Big Noise Street Band with music specially written by Tim Hill for the occasion. The procession then made its way back through the crowds with all art work sparkling in the evening twilight!

This was an amazing event and although I have been involved through out the project I was still not sure what to expect and the result was certainly beyond my expectations.

I would like to thank everyone who made this celebration possible and in particular Beccy Swaine from Somerset Art Works who made it all happen and Sarah Butterworth for the fantastic art work she produced with the schools and the local community.

It was a fitting way to mark 5 years of the Great Crane Project and now the initial crane release has finished we are looking forward to seeing crane eggs and chicks of our own on the Somerset Levels and Moors !


Photo - John Crispin - bugling cranes on the Somerset Levels and Moors

Find out more about the whole 'A Celebration of Cranes' project on the Somerset Art Works blog

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Michael Wilson joined the Somerset RSPB team in Spring 2014 as the Somerset Wetlands Community Officer.