PICTURES: Mini zoo trail captures imagination of Acton residents during lockdown
If you ventured through Acton over the last week, a trail of animal displays in front of dozens of homes may have caught your eye.
The village’s “mini zoo” has proved popular among children, who were encouraged to put their creative skills to use during the coronavirus lockdown, by displaying an animal with an information board in their window or front garden.
The project was conceived by Acton Primary School teacher Katy Hammond, who explained she received around 60 responses, after posting the idea on social media, and has now created a map and a checklist for people to use when walking in the village.
In addition to providing a learning activity for youngsters while schools are closed, she told the Free Press the project was inspired by the plight of Colchester Zoo, which is in dire straits financially, following its closure due to the pandemic.
She has also set up an online fundraising page in support of the zoo which has, to date, received £900 in donations.
“It’s massively important to support the zoo right now,” said Katy, of Clayhall Place. “I think its running costs are about £25,000 a day, which is a lot when it has no customers coming in. We don’t want the zoo to close permanently.
“I’ve got two small girls, and we’ve been going to the zoo regularly since my oldest daughter was one year old. We have celebrated lots of birthdays and Christmases there. It’s a big part of a family.
“It got me thinking about something we could do in the village. Being a school teacher, I wanted to do something children could learn from.
“I said they could be as extravagant or as simple as they wanted. Some children have spent a long time painting, drawing and finding facts.
“We have walked around the village and people have put in a lot of effort. There’s some really impressive displays.”
To donate towards the fundraiser, go online to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/katy-hammond-1.
More by this authorThomas Malina