AROUND 25 students have been busy creating ambitious sculptures from reclaimed materials which will go on display at a prestigious event this summer.

Budding artists - from schools in Fairford, Cirencester and Witney - have been beavering away in The Ernest Cook Trust workshop creating some masterpieces while taking part in the trust's Skills for Nature programme.

Their creations will be on show in St Swithin’s Churchyard in Quenington next to the entrance to Fresh Air Sculpture Show which runs from Thursday, June 6 to Sunday, July 7.

The theme of the collection is wildlife so visitors can expect an array of insect homes,  bat boxes and bird feeding stations - and might also be able to spot a life-sized gorilla made from roofing battens and ivy. 

Most of the materials used in these sculptures come from the trust’s estates, including oak from felled deadwood, ivy removed from tree trunks, coppiced hazel and junk metal.

The students have also made some benches so there will be plenty of places to sit and picnic and enjoy the artwork, before or after visiting the main Fresh Air Sculpture exhibition, adjacent to the churchyard.

Pete Tatham, one of The Ernest Cook Trust’s outdoor learning officers in Gloucestershire, said: “We’ve picked a wildlife theme, and have a really eclectic mix of pieces.

“The students are aged between 12 to 19 and some we have worked with for as long as four years, learning skills that they wouldn’t be able to pick up in school. 

"They are all working towards a range of employability awards.

Emily Bird, curator of Education at Fresh Air sculpture, said: “We always welcome the Fresh Air Fringe that The Ernest Cook Trust students deliver.

"It’s hugely popular with the public and the whole ethos of the work and programme fits so well with our aim to make the arts accessible to all.”