The Federation of Groundwork Trusts

Flocks of Sheep Bring to Life GBP450k Transformation of Exeter Cathedral Green


BIRMINGHAM, England, May 13, 2011 /PR Newswire/ -- A flock of 170 life sized designer sheep will be on-hand to help launch the GBP450k transformation of the Exeter Cathedral green this Friday (Friday 13th May 2011).

The GBP450,000 investment from Groundwork UK and Big Lottery Fund's Community Spaces programme, has helped complete the first phase in the master plan for the green - breathing life back by creating new pathways, lighting and planting as well as places to sit and enjoy the improved landscape.

The sheep are part of the opening celebrations and have been hand painted and designed by local school children with the help of the Devon Learning and Development Partnership (LDP).

The Cathedral green is an important and well-used public space in the City of Exeter with a wealth of historical associations. The Vision for the Green project aims to cement the role of the area as a tranquil and contemplative public space at the heart of the City.

The project will be officially launched in the presence of Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, Eric Dancer CBE JP and the Rt Revd Dr Michael Langrish, Bishop of Exeter; Vice Patrons of the Cathedral's Third Millennium Campaign.

Campaign Director, Jill Taylor said, 'We are excited about completing the first phase of this project - local people have followed the developments on the green with great interest and are pleased to be able to enjoy the area once more. The Community Spaces funding has given us the impetus to keep going towards realising our vision.'

The improvements mean that local people have a space to relax and enjoy the green and will make the Cathedral more of a focal point for community events and civic occasions.

Wendy Jenkins, Director of Open Grants at Groundwork UK, said, 'This is really exciting news for us, we have awarded nine flagship grants through the programme and to see the first one complete within a year is marvellous. It's already clear that the changes will make a big difference to the people of Exeter - we hope the green becomes a well-used and popular public space for all.'

Groundwork UK has been administering funding through the Community Spaces programme as an Award Partner to the Big Lottery Fund since March 2008. The programme has now closed to applications; however, it will enable the creation and improvement of almost 1000 projects across the country. For more information visit:

Vision for the Green project

The completed project has a similar area of grass as before but now with the addition of new trees, including several specimen trees reflecting the locality, such as the Devon Luccombe Oak and the Exeter Elm.

The interpretation on site, which will be completed over the summer months, will include letter carved poetry inscriptions in the stone thresholds by Annet Stirling, (Annet will be demonstrating her craft at the opening celebrations) and bronze roundels set into the stone paths depicting historically significant events by Hilary Cartmel.

The 'Flock'

As part of the opening celebration, the Devon Learning and Development Partnership (LDP) and Exeter Cathedral have organised a project for Devon primary and secondary schools entitled 'The Flock'. This art and design project involves children aged 5 to 16 years and school communities painting life-sized resin sheep inspired by art and artists from this and other times and places. In total there is planned to be 170 life-sized sheep and lambs in the Flock 'installation' on the Green over the weekend for visitors to enjoy.

Community Spaces

Community Spaces is a GBP57.5 million open grants programme, funded by the Big Lottery Fund and managed by Groundwork UK as an award partner to the Changing Spaces initiative. The programme helps community groups create or improve green and open spaces so that the quality of life in neighbourhoods across England is enhanced.

Community Spaces closed to new application on the 07 January 2011. The programme was open for grants of between GBP10,000 - GBP450,000 since March 2008. Nine grants of up to GBP450,000 have been made across the country.

Groundwork UK

Groundwork supports communities in need, working with partners to help improve the quality of people's lives, their prospects and potential and the places where they live, work and play.

Our vision is of a society of sustainable communities which are vibrant, healthy and safe, which respect the local and global environment and where individuals and enterprise prosper. For further information visit:

Big Lottery Fund

The Big Lottery Fund's Changing Spaces programme was launched in November 2005 to help communities enjoy and improve their local environments. The programme is funding a range of activities from local food schemes and farmers markets, to education projects teaching people about the environment. Groundwork UK was appointed as a Changing Spaces award partner, responsible for distributing GBP57.5 million through its Community Spaces scheme.

The Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004. It was established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.

Full details of the work of the Big Lottery Fund, its programmes and awards are available on the website:

Notes to Editor

Photographs of sheep on the green available on request - please contact Nisha Virdi on +44(0)121-237-5872.

For media enquiries please contact, Nisha Virdi: +44(0)121-237-5872 or +44(0)7748-320-074. Email

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: +44(0)20-7211-1888, Out of hours: +44(0)7867-500-572

Public enquiries line: +44(0)8454-102030, Textphone: +44(0)8456-021-659

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