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NEWS RELEASE No: 1380519 JULY 2010

Exotic birds flock to the Forestry Commission at the Tatton Show

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designs made out of pipe cleaners

A flock of exotic and colourful birds, made from hundreds of pipe cleaners, will be on display at the Forestry Commission stand at the RHS Tatton Park Show in Cheshire on July 21-25.

The vivid and unusual birds are a project by young British artist Alice McCabe, who was inspired to create the work after visiting one of the region’s forests in 2009.

People who visit the Forestry Commission stand can also find out more about the North West England’s largest forests Delamere in Cheshire and Grizedale and Whinlatter in the Lake District as well as the Newlands programme, Europe’s largest urban greening project.

The region’s forests and woodlands are home to a wide range of different birds, including woodpeckers and siskins at Delamere Forest and the ospreys that have made their summer home near Whinlatter Forest.  Alice McCabe says:

“I was fascinated by the birds in Grizedale Forest. I had been using brightly coloured pipe cleaners in my artwork and it occurred to me that bird watching and pipe cleaner weaving both require a lot of patience.

“I decided I wanted to use the small movements of binding wires to create a tribute to the birds I had seen.”

On completion of her the work, Alice donated it on permanent loan to the RSPB, who have lent it to the Forestry Commission to exhibit.

The flock of 37 birds will be displayed on the Forestry Commission stand at Tatton.

Pipe cleaners will be on hand, so that budding artists can have a go a creating their own brightly-coloured birds.

Hayley Skipper from the Forestry Commission says:

“Alice’s experience shows how inspirational our forests and the wildlife in them can be.  I hope that as many people as possible come along to see these extraordinary birds, and go away encouraged to visit the forests and perhaps create an artwork for themselves.

“The fact that the artist was inspired by the Grizedale forest habitat and the RSPB’s images of birds seems a fitting tribute to the partnership work by both organisations including The Lake District Osprey Project, where the two organisations also work alongside The Lake District Authority.”

Forests store carbon, mitigate against climate change, reduce flooding and provide important habitats for wildlife and green spaces for everyone to explore and enjoy.

Delamere Forest, Cheshire’s largest area of woodland, is just half an hour from Tatton Park and includes miles of walking and cycle paths as well as a Go Ape high ropes trail.  As well as birds the forest is also a haven for other wildlife including the beautiful small tortoiseshell butterfly, and the white faced darter dragonfly.

On 30th July the Alice McCabe exhibition will move to the Yan Centre in Grizedale Forest, to coincide with Lakes Alive’s outdoor arts event Into the Woods when art installations will spring up in forest glades, amazing creatures will appear from behind trees and actors will pop up from nowhere.

For more information the Forestry Commission estates in the North West log on to

For more information about Lakes Alive go to

1.  Images attached of Grizedale and Whinlatter are attached.  Higher resolution versions are available by calling 01524 782086.

2.  The Forestry Commission is the largest provider of countryside
recreation in Britain with        responsibility for over one million
hectares (2.4 million acres) of forest, woodlands and open countryside. The North West England Forest District covers the Lake District in Cumbria, the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire. The forests today are managed for conservation, wildlife, landscape and recreation as well as providing a valuable source of timber.

Graeme Prest on 01229 860373 or 07747 762916.