Wildlife images will be displayed for all to see

The artistic efforts of kids during lockdown will be put to good use this summer when their work is displayed at the entrance to a local nature reserve.

We set children in Efford a challenge while they were being homeschooled earlier this year – come up with a design which will be immortalised on a metal archway at Efford Marsh.

We’ve been working with the Friends of Efford Marsh, Plymouth City Council and CLAW on the Pocket Parks Project to make Efford Marsh a more inviting place for local people.

The group has got £10,000 to make improvements at the marsh. These will include putting in a seating area, planting a flower meadow and orchard and holding community events when social distancing is eased.

The winning designs will also be featured on an archway, which will be made and installed by QC Engineering later this year at the Top Meadow entrance off Military Road.

PCH Communities Worker Ryan Huws said: “The children were being home schooled and we thought it was something they could do alongside their schoolwork.

“We sent out letters to families in the area and asked them to draw wildlife images they would see at the marsh. We also sent out a drawing pack containing an art pad and felt tip pens. We got some really nice drawings back.”

Elisabeth, nine, (pictured) and her two siblings entered the competition and she was one of the winners. Her stepmum, Lisa, said: “During lockdown, we sometimes got stuck with things to do. When we got the letter about the competition, we thought it was a nice thing to do.

“The park is local to the kids and somewhere they go and visit. It will be nice to visit when the arches are up.

“Elisabeth loves to draw. She’s so creative. This win is a positive affirmation for her.”

There were three age categories and first, second and third prizes of £30-£10 in Love2Shop vouchers.

After months of virtual meetings, the Friends of Efford Marsh have started meeting up in person every fortnight at the marsh under the rule of six.

Their imminent plans include planting wildflower seeds in the woods, holding litter picking sessions and removing flytipping.

Ryan added: “We’re looking for more people to join us as it’s such a lovely place to spend time and it’s rewarding to know we’re making it a nicer place.”

If you’d like to join the Friends of Efford Marsh, contact Ryan on 0808 230 6500.