Since the end of the practical workshops and installations in 2017 there has been a maintenance session carried out annually by our Ranger team with the help of a variety of young people.
The first year one of our Rangers did a tour of the eight sites with one of the budding artists who helped paint the masterpieces originally. A fresh coat of vanish was applied to all the artwork to protect them for another year, and they were checked over for any possible remedial work that might have needed to have been carried out. Luckily they had stood up to the test of time and no urgent action was required.
Cue round two of the maintenance. Unfortunately it transpired that this time there was much more necessary repair work to implement. Three of the large pieces at Funges Meadow were vandalised so had to be taken down for repainting; our wonderful artist friend Dan Wilson took delivery of them and set to work. With the help of five local teenagers they were restored with, in Dan’s words, an updated 2019 look, surpassing their previous glory. Come the summer, a merry band of three work experience students, Mr Wilson, and one of our team reinstalled them at their original location to the delight of many.
As in the previous year, all the other artwork left in situ received some tlc and notes taken on any that will require more intensive maintenance going forward. An ongoing task!
This links us to a similar project where Thames Water have provided funding to restore the River Wye from Desborough to Bourne End. Please see our Revive the Wye river project for more information on this next stage of revitalising our precious chalkstream.