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  • Diana Littlejohns

Stripes & Silverbacks

It's not surprising to find energy levels of both children and adults a bit low in the run-up to Christmas. So, to wrap up my Conservation art workshops for Winter Term and indeed 2018, and to set everyone off with happy vibes for the festive holiday, I arrived in class with gifts of two cases of brand new colouring pens. The children's faces lit up when they saw them, and lots of tiny hands started grabbing for their favourite colours immediately. As such, the workshop began with a bang, and I sketched gorillas and tigers whilst teaching the children about their conservation.

All gorilla populations are endangered or critically endangered according to the IUCN Red Data List. Still, mountain gorilla populations in the Virunga Mountain range - a chain of volcanoes in East Africa bordering Rwanda, DR Congo and Uganda – had increased to over 1000 for the first time since the 1980s when it was less than 250 (https://www.tusk.org/news/mountain-gorilla-population-tops-1000/).


What a great success story for gorilla conservation. Similarly, with 3890 tigers left in the world currently, which is an increase from 3200 in 2010, it's proof that we can make a difference when we put our minds to it (https://tigers.panda.org/news_and_stories/stories/wild_tiger_numbers_increase_to_3890.cfm).

Art is a therapeutic activity allowing you to go into a 'zone', so I watched with a warm heart as some of the teachers began colouring in my sketches as well. Mrs Casey, had a great time adding more beautiful stripes to the big tiger I'd done on the whiteboard too!

It was so wonderful having everyone contribute and learn about how we can help protect and preserve these endangered species, and such a unique way to end the year so thank you very much for having me again Nursery.

My Spring workshops will soon begin again but seeing as it's still early January, I'd like to wish you all a happy and healthy New Year. Hopefully, we'll be able to start this year with an even greater green and eco-friendly mindset going forward.


In the words of Jane Goodall, 'You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.'

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