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Lately we’ve been ‘art and about’ (!) in Becontree looking at different ways the urban environment can be a blank canvas to inspire more people to walk and cycle for more of their everyday journeys.

After chatting to teachers and children at Roding Primary we’ve been experimenting by painting temporary footprints at key walking routes to school to excite and encourage more children and parents to walk together instead of driving. We’re arranging a painting session with some of the young students but here are some pictures from our trial stenciling session using Eco’s organic temporary pavement paint in Lagoon blue! This is part of a route from Mayesbrook Park to school along quiet streets and one of the key routes we’ve been promoting as part of our recommended ‘Walking Bus‘ . The idea is to encourage parents who drive from further afield, to park at this car park and walk the 9 minute walking route along quiet back streets making their way to school We’ll be experimenting with footprints from different animals one might find in the Park – engaging children and parents in noticing more about their local environment. Whose footprints would you like to see?

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As well as guerrilla footprint stenciling we’ve been working with the fantastic artists at TAG to design a concept for the shutters at Rugby Road/Gale Street just down from Becontree station. Residents told us they felt the drab grey shutters of the two shops which are currently permanently closed really needed brightening up to improve the look of the area and decrease the chance of the new benches being used for anti-social behaviour. After initial questions around what designs residents would like to see lots of you got in touch telling us you’d love to see some art on the shutters to reflect some of the rich history of the area. Therefore these are the proposed designs for the shutters featuring the famous Flamingos of Parsloes Park! What do you think?

We’ll be sharing these designs with everyone at our Celebrate Event on 21st June at the junction between 2pm-4pm so do come down to have a look, ask any questions and meet the artist! Your feedback is really important to us and these designs can be changed. There are also going to be lots of opportunities for residents, especially young people to take part in creating these designs on the shutters, working with the artist to prepare the surface etc. Do get in touch if you’re interested in getting involved and we’ll be advertising the sessions nearer the time.

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