Littleport artist keeps families busy during coronavirus pandemic by creating labyrinths
PUBLISHED: 14:06 17 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:16 17 April 2020
A self-employed artist from Littleport has created a rather different activity to help keep children and families busy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Jane Frost has designed two paths called labyrinths on Woodfen Road, otherwise known as Woodfen Green, which enable people to not get lost while using them.
Since Jane, who works outdoors with natural and recycled materials, and her husband Tim Frost started cutting circles on the Green partly for fun last month, more passers-by have become attached to their creation.
“I was aware of all the restrictions on children and families who are finding it hard to keep children busy and happy, so this is a way to support others locally,” Jane said.
“I started a month ago, cutting two circles. Cutting them took about 45 minutes and each week I have been cutting a bit more.
“With help from my husband Tim, we cut two labyrinths which took over an hour to cut. We haven’t measured how long the pathways are yet, but I am sure someone will soon!
“Walking the labyrinth is a great and safe way for people to meet up and share the experience with friends or family while doing some exercise.”
The labyrinths have been increasingly popular with residents since it was promoted on the ‘Littleport’s big eye spy’ Facebook page, with dogs even making the most of the open space.
Jane, who also works with charity Learning Through Landscapes to help schools make use of outdoor spaces as a learning resource, has received support from East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) to maintain the labyrinths so that more people can benefit for longer.
“I contacted ECDC to ask if they could leave the labyrinth and not cut it,” she said.
“I am really pleased that Shaun Bradshaw from the parks and open spaces team has agreed. They will continue to cut the labyrinth over the summer allowing the grass to grow longer and pathways more obvious.
“Pathways indicate to others that friends or family can come and walk there too, so it is a good way to share the space even if not at the same time.
“Cutting the grass in a pattern means cutting less, and this can be a really good way to encourage wildlife to thrive in the spaces as well.
“I invited people to use it via the local Facebook page, Littleport’s big eye spy, and families have been making use of it as part of their regular daily exercise and outdoor play.
“Everyone misses meeting up with friends and we all need reassurance and encouragement to be positive.
“I heard from one mum who is very grateful to have somewhere safe to take her children because they had begun to be afraid of going out of their garden.
“Mental health is more important than ever when times are uncertain, and families need to find ways to share safe spaces and good experiences.”
*Jane is running a blog to help teachers and parents with children learning from home, and works with Arts and Minds, developing resources, projects and workshops for young people and children to help understand and maintain good mental health.
What are you doing to help others during the coronavirus pandemic? Let us know - email Daniel.Mason@archant.co.uk.
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