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WWT Martin Mere Launches Brand New Summer Code Breakers Trail

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre in Burscough has a brand new event this summer and is challenging families to venture around the wetland centre on its first ever Code Breakers Trail.

For this summer only, the centre is transforming its stunning wetlands into a huge puzzle adventure. Hidden amongst the centre's living collection, which boasts flamingos, cranes, otters and more, families will find 18 clues. Unravelling the hidden message will lead to winning a puzzle book while enjoying a fantastic day out exploring the wetlands.

There is also chance to win a £50 gift shop voucher for 1 lucky family for completing and handing in their trail card.

The adventure doesn't stop there, with plenty of activities on offer for lots of family fun during the school summer holidays. Get up close to weird and wonderful moths, delve into ponds to uncover underwater creatures, enjoy hours of play at the huge adventure playground, or gain a greater connection with nature in the Wild Walk.

Families can also attend talks and feeds, including:- otter and flamingo talks, and a newly introduced Weird or Wonderful aviary talk to learn more about species like Inca terns, a near-threatened species that has an iconic white mustache, and spoonbills, named after their spoon-like bills which they elegantly sweep in water to feed.


Nick Brooks, Centre Manager at WWT, said:- "We can't wait to welcome families this summer for our brand new Summer Code Breakers event. This unique experience will challenge families whilst getting them out in the great outdoors, with the chance to get closer to wetland birds from around the world."

The new Code Breakers Trail at WWT Martin Mere opens on:- 20 July 2024 and will run until:- 1 September 2024, and costs £1 per trail card. Admission tickets must also be purchased (entry is free to WWT members). To find out more, visit the WWT Martin Mere website.

‘Our Fragile World’ a Solo Show by Pam Thomas

AN exciting new showcase of artwork by Liverpool born artist, Pam Thomas, unmistakably validates her dedication to using her own creativity:- "as a means of encouraging a positive change in the world."

Pam hopes that her current exhibition, spread across 3 disciplines' ceramics, stitch and painting' will evidence her ongoing commitment to her expanding artistic practice:- "I'm still dreaming, making, and hoping my artwork will make a difference to how people care for:- 'Our Fragile World.'"

Pam's artistic journey began at an early age with a fascination for drawing and painting people that inevitably led to enrolling onto a Foundation Course at Mid-Cheshire College where she first developed her love for ceramics. The experience changed her creative outlook and in 2000 Pam went on to graduate with a B.Des (Hons) in ceramics and textiles from Liverpool Hope University.

Although her preferred medium remains ceramics, Pam also enjoys working with paint and stitch to further develop her concepts and ideas and evidence of all three disciplines are on show in the current collection.

However, whatever the eventual direction, Pam always gains invaluable inspiration from her innumerable sketchbooks.

Pam said:- "Working from my own life and observational sketches, I use these as a starting point for creating my sculptures that become a reflection of the stories behind each drawing. In 2022 I created a series about children playing. 'Boy on a Swing' was taken from sketches of my grandchildren playing on the makeshift swing we made for them on one of the horse chestnut trees in our garden. The resulting sculpture is ceramic with a wash of magnesium, placed in a wooden swing with metal chains. Being frost resistant it is suitable for the garden where it will sway in the wind."

Working with acrylic paint, Pam works:- 'en plein air,' painting speedily to freeze the moment out on location although she has learned from experience to also make a photographic back up in case she has to finish the painting in her studio. “‘The Lion Rock’ was painted when on holiday in Anglesey where I had childhood holidays. This is the place I learned to swim and it has always been a special place for me. Sitting on the beach with the tide coming in on a windy day and having to work quickly is the way I like to paint as it gives a freshness to the work. Although the painting is mainly acrylic on paper, I incorporated some some pen work to emphasize the power of the waves."

Her recent stitch experimentation combines an inkjet printer and thread to fabricate fragile imagery of butterflies:- "Having seen the decline of the butterfly population in 2023, I decided to create a piece of art work to show this loss. I printed the butterfly photograph using an ink jet printer, before transferring the image onto fabric. By placing the picture, ink side down and wetting it, the ink ran onto the fabric leaving a blurred image. To highlight the loss, I stitched only ½ of the image to emphasise the beauty we are losing."

'Our Fragile World'
positively reinforces Pam's creative mission through her artistic observations:- "I am hoping the work will get people thinking about how we are damaging the world and what we are leaving for the next generation to sort out”.

If you like art, this is certainly not an exhibition to be missed, this diverse display by Pam will be on show at the:- ArtHouse, Eastbank Street, Southport, from:- 16 July to 3 August 2024.

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