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Artists raise awareness of buyout campaign

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Artists raise awareness of buyout campaign

THREE artists are joining forces to raise money for and awareness of the Tarras Valley fundraising campaign.

Furniture maker Daniel Lacey and ceramicists Siobhan and Martin Miles-Moore have used timber from storm blown trees at the Eskdale nature reserve (TVNR) to make pieces of woodwork and pottery that will be raffled off for the cause.

The trio are taking part in this weekend’s Spring Fling open studios event and will be highlighting the £2.2 million community fundraising drive to buy 5300 acres of Langholm Moor to the scores of expected visitors.

Daniel, who lives in Langholm, is closely involved with the TVNR project which has already secured more than 5000 acres of land, but has a matter of weeks to raise the money needed to buy another 5300 acres and double its size.

He said: “Our hope is that by making and raffling some small pieces during Spring Fling we can raise a little money and a lot of awareness for the TVNR buyout project.”

Daniel has been doing volunteer work collecting and cutting wood from windblown beech, rowan and birch trees within the reserve using his mobile sawmill. The sawdust has been given to the Miles-Moores who burn it and use the ashes to make glazes for their pottery.

Siobhan said: “The more people know about a nature reserve, the more likely they are to value it, but the first thing we need to do is attract attention to what makes it special. Being connected to nature has a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing and in a world of covid, we all need more of that.”

The trio now hope to gather communities of artists around specific nature reserves, to make use of materials, from felled or fallen trees through to relocated stone or flood and storm materials.

Martin added: “Scientists and conservationists have their own language about nature, but artists communicate in different ways and attract different audiences. We have a valuable part to play in engaging people with nature in all her glory, as well as telling her stories.”

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