Today, we're taking the time to remember one of our favourite projects from 2018: the Litter Monster.
So, what exactly is the Litter Monster? Rather than telling you, take a look at the photo up above.
Pretty amazing, right? The Litter Monster took up residence at the Eden River's Trust collaborative exhibition, Eden Rivers Wonder World. It is a towering, 5-metre high sculpture made entirely from waste found in around rivers in the Eden catchment. A total of 79 students from within the Eden Catchment helped to source and sculpt the Litter Monster. On the first day, they carried out a litter pick, helping to clean the riparian habitats and protect wildlife from harm. On the second day, they helped to create the Litter Monster itself, as well as starring in a film discussing their opinion on littering.
The wonderfully creative Ro Thomas from Woodmatters was an integral part of the project. Josh Simpson from Ragtag Arts and Janine Bebbington from Gorgeous Media were also a huge help in the Litter Monster's completion. Ro was thrilled to be involved with the project. She said:
"It's been such an inspiring experience working on the Litter Monster Project. We had a vision of the children being totally immersed in the subject, details and impacts of litter pollution to the point where they could inspire a change in behaviour to those who visited their exhibition piece at Tullie House.
“The children have taken the role of ecologists, environmentalists, scientists, artists, film makers and educators. It’s been wonderful to see their passion for looking after their river environment grow and the clear onward positive impacts as they have gone home and shared their learning and experience with family and friends.
“To top off an amazing project, the children were so incredibly excited to receive a personal letter from David Attenborough to commend them on their amazing work. I'm so proud of all they have learned and have achieved creating such a high-impact and visually stimulating exhibit.”
To find out more about the Litter Monster, have a look at the video below.
The story doesn't end with the exhibition, though; the most magical twist was yet to come.
Without the children knowing, Ro Thomas contacted Sir David Attenborough about their achievements—and he replied! Addressing the children as the "Litter Champions of Eden". He wrote: “If everyone plays their part, as you are doing, our planet will be a cleaner and better place for the future". Being directly addressed by a national treasure is bound to stay with the Litter Champions for the rest of their lives!
Inspiring children through projects like the Litter Monster is the best way to inspire a generation of conservationists and instil a deep appreciation of the natural world. We can't wait to see what the Litter Champions achieve in the future!