A Bustard on every street corner(March 13, 2011)
Local artist Lesley Fudge has seen her fledgling idea to make the Bustard the centre of an arts project in Warminster spread its winds to now enthuse the imagination of the whole county.
People are flocking to her with ideas and suggestions and the secretary of the local arts society is now in talks with the leader of Wiltshire Council.
"I had a vision of a community arts project after visitng an artist who had one of the original 'Lions of Bath' at her home," explains Lesley.
"Driving back I thought we need something like that for Warminster."
Last autumn the Great Bustard became her theme for the project and after talking to the town council and others she took her idea to the Warminster and Village Development Trust.
"I see the young having a Bustard in their schools, the villages having a bird in their hall, getting the military involved, and old people's homes taking part as well," Lesley told vfw co-author Paul Macdonald.
"We need funding as a school like St. Johns is not going to have the money," says Lesley. "It is going have a proper financial plan but I leave that side of things to the WVDT."
The town council have agreed £2,000 'seed-corn' money and this week the area board of Wiltshire Council agreed to forward a further grant application to their chiefs.
In an enthusiastic description of the ideas that are flowing in Lesly told Paul about the youth projects, the commercial opportunities, the tourism potential, the interest from a school in twinning with Russia and it going county wide in time for the Olympics.
"I would like to see the REME make a rowing boat with a crew of bustards!" Says Lesley. "And getting youngsters into old people's homes to show them how to graffiti a wall with bustards."
Joining in the enthusiasm is Kayleigh Tabarini-Chapman who is on a government funded job with the WVDT.
"I am starting a campaign to get into schools, community groups, old people's homes sponsored by businesses," says Kayleigh.
"Once people know about this they are going to get so enthused."
Kayleigh pulled out a replica of a strawberry. Undoing the cord it opened out into a shopping bag.
"I am talking to Marks and Spencer about doing the same with a bustard theme for our project," Kayleigh explained.
With that the two of them were once again enthusiastically bouncing ideas back and forth.
"Oh sorry!" laughed Lesley remembering Paul was there. "As you can see we are full of ideas."
Kayleigh is doing a survey of 1,000 people showing them a picture of a bird and asking them 'do you know what this bird is?' with a follow-up planned after their Go-Bustards!! project has been completed.
"I am so pleased that part of our vision of civic pride will be enhanced by the Great Bustard as items of street furniture," says Paul.
"I even got caught up in their enthusiasm suggesting perhaps a piece of play equipment could be based on the bird!"