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9th February 2023

Barnsley Museums join The Wild Escape, the largest collaboration between UK Museums

Barnsley Museums has announced that it will join The Wild Escape, a major new project, uniting hundreds of museums with schools and families to fund nature in museums.

 Led by the national art charity, Art Fund, and with support from Arts Council England, hundreds of museums, galleries, and historic houses are coming together for the largest-ever collaboration between UK museums.

 Taking place from January to July 2023, The Wild Escape invites children to find a favourite animal in their local museum and create artwork imagining its journey to a natural habitat. The pictures and stories children create will be brought together in a collective work of art that imagines a better future for the wildlife on our doorstep, launched online and in museums on Earth Day 2023.

 As part of The Wild Escape, Barnsley Museums will be working with local school children from Birdwell primary school to explore Worsbrough Mill and Country Park. They will learn more about its nature and biodiversity and participate in creative activities led by artist Sarah Jane Palmer. The project will culminate on Earth Day 2023. A new, climate change-themed willow sculpture created by students and supported by local volunteers will be unveiled and enjoyed by visitors to the country park alongside fun family activities. 

 The Wild Escape is an opportunity to join urgent conversations about the climate crisis and biodiversity loss and look for nature-positive solutions in partnership with leading environmental charities, the RSPB and WWF and cultural organisations National Trust and England Heritage.

 The Wild Escape is inspired by Wild Isles, a landmark BBC series exploring flora and fauna in the UK.

 Jenny Waldman, Director, Art Fund said: “I am thrilled that Barnsley Museums is joining hundreds of organisations from the Outer Hebrides to Folkstone to connect thousands of children to the natural world throughout the UK’s truly great museums. Thanks to the invaluable support of Arts Council England, The Wild Escape will empower families and children across the UK to visit and discover our wonderful museums whilst taking positive action to picture a better future for our wildlife.”

Councillor Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “Worsbrough Mill Country Park has an abundance of wildlife. It’s our job to protect and preserve the species you find there and support and enhance the natural habitat. We are delighted to participate in this important and collaborative project that will allow local school children to explore green spaces and make fascinating discoveries on the way. We can’t wait to hear their ideas and thoughts on our surroundings and how the research will shape the final piece of artwork.”

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