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Cows about Cambridge: Picture special as brilliant mini moos are spotted all over the city



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Have you heard the one about miniature cows that escaped their stalls. They look udderly delightful.

Mini moos at The Grafton. Picture: David Johnson
Mini moos at The Grafton. Picture: David Johnson

They were spotted moo-ving around the city this week ahead of the official launch on Monday, June 28 of the Cows about Cambridge sculpture trail, for which the Cambridge Independent is - we’re proud to say - media partner.

The trail will bring 44 beautifully decorated large cows and 45 mini moos to the city, and we will have a bumper guide to it all, including trail map, in the Cambridge Independent edition out from June 23.

This week, the focus was on the escape mini moos. Spotted browsing in shops, museums, libraries, galleries and leisure venues across the city, the miniature cows have each been adorned with a creative decoration by schools, colleges and community groups involved in the Cows about Cambridge Learning Programme.

Sarah Ashwood, deputy manager at Jigsaw, with the mini moos. Picture: David Johnson
Sarah Ashwood, deputy manager at Jigsaw, with the mini moos. Picture: David Johnson

And each of these little characters has their own unique story to tell, from stories of kindness and comedy, to favourite books and school subjects – so keep an eye out for them as you head around the city.

The learning programme, sponsored by Morgan Sindall and MJS, provided resources and lesson plans, encouraged creativity in the classroom, cross-curricular conversations about topics from climate change to construction and, no doubt, prompted a fair share of puns.

Jacks on Trinity manager Will Bannell. Picture: David Johnson
Jacks on Trinity manager Will Bannell. Picture: David Johnson

Alison Penney, class teacher and Artsmark co-ordinator at Coates Primary School, said: “As soon as our mini moo was delivered it was called McFlurry by the excited children in Year 4, who set to work fundraising to pay for the project to happen.

“We sold milkshakes to raise the money, and we’ve never known children to be so enthusiastic for milkshakes!”

Jacks on Trinity manager Will Bannell with a mini moo. Picture: David Johnson
Jacks on Trinity manager Will Bannell with a mini moo. Picture: David Johnson

Amy Selby, ranger at Girlguiding Cambridgeshire East, added: “The patchwork design on our mini moo was inspired by the history of Girlguiding. Each panel relates to a different activity – such as camping, outdoor activities, the promise we all make, and volunteering.”

The organisation has even created a special badge available to everyone who visits Girls Can Do Anything, their mini moo. Amy said: “In Guiding, we all love a badge for our uniform or camp blanket.”

Meanwhile, the mini moo from St Mary’s School in Cambridge is decorated with symbols that represent the breadth of its creative curriculum. “Our school community has enjoyed watching our mini moo become decorated,” said headmistress Charlotte Avery.

“We hope that the whole herd of mini moos will give pleasure to those who live, work or visit Cambridge and help all of us become yet more mindful of the beauty of our natural surroundings and the importance of fenland and farmland to Cambridge and Cambridgeshire. St Mary’s School is delighted to be part of this innovative and ambitious community art project.”

Rob Theodore, exhibitions and display co-ordinator at Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, introduces mini moos to an ancestor. Picture: David Johnson
Rob Theodore, exhibitions and display co-ordinator at Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, introduces mini moos to an ancestor. Picture: David Johnson

At the Sedgwick Moo-seum, the green carpet was rolled out for a herd of five mini-moos, who are now hanging out with their 125,000-yearold fossil cow ancestors, and can be seen from today (Thursday, June 17).

The Cows about Cambridge art trail is being delivered by Wild in Art in association with the children’s charity Break, and in partnership with Cambridge BID and Thameslink. The 46 mini moos will be joined by 44 moo-vellous life-size cows on the trail.

It means this is one of the largest mass participation art projects ever to come to Cambridge. Thameslink got involved by running a mini moo design competition on the theme of health and wellbeing. The winning design, submitted by librarian Alice Billington, uses flowers, butterflies and the human form to convey the path to wellbeing.

“The importance of good mental health is paramount for our staff and customers alike,” explained Charlotte Scallon, head of corporate social responsibility at Thameslink (GTR). “It was wonderful to see the competition entries, giving people the opportunity to express positive mental health, and we look forward to seeing Alice’s winning mini moo in all her colour spreading happiness on the trail.”

Girlguideing Cambridgeshire East created one of the mini moos
Girlguideing Cambridgeshire East created one of the mini moos

The exact locations of the 46 miniature sculptures will be revealed in our supplement on June 23, ahead of the trail going live on Monday, June 28, but between now and then the mini moos are certainly milking this preview opportunity.

After 10 weeks on public display, the mini moos will return to their creators, as a lasting legacy of the trail.

A mini moo relaxes in Cambridge. Picture: Richard Marsham
A mini moo relaxes in Cambridge. Picture: Richard Marsham

And after a farewell weekend in September, the larger cows will be auctioned to raise funds for Break.

Paul Brackley, editor of the Cambridge Independent, said: “We are excited to be media partners for this fantastic art trail, which will provide great fun for all over the summer.

Agnes Perez with a mini moo at The Grafton. Picture: David Johnson
Agnes Perez with a mini moo at The Grafton. Picture: David Johnson

“The mini moos look terrific, as do their larger cousins, and we can’t wait to get out on the trail and see them all in place. Look out for the exclusive supplement dedicated to Cows about Cambridge in next week’s Cambridge Independent, with a trail map and everything you need to know to ensure your family gets the most of this brilliant event.”

Visit cowsaboutcambridge.co.uk and follow @CambridgeIndy and @CowsaboutCambs on Twitter to keep up with all the news and moos.

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