Tortoise Takeover has officially started!
Today the young trail, which is made up of 65 smaller ‘young’ tortoise sculptures that were decorated by local schools, charities, and community groups, has gone live. You will be able to find these fabulously colourful, creative, and unique sculptures in shop windows across St Helier, as well as at other inspiring indoor locations around the island.
The purpose of the young trail was to bring together schools, colleges, nurseries, and community groups together to create a wild and whimsical ‘creep’ of young tortoises, whilst making the trail as inclusive and accessible as possible.
The young trail has gone live two weeks ahead of the main trail, so that the talent, imagination, and creativity of our local community can be celebrated, whilst creating a teaser for what is yet to come.
The young tortoise trail was made possible by Tortoise Takeover Education Partner, RBC, and Community Partner, BDO & C5. Their generous support has enabled 31 schools and 23 community groups to get involved in this exciting and inspiring project.
Speaking on why they wanted to get involved in the trail:
Gail McCourt, RBC, said: "At RBC, supporting young people and youth mental health are at the heart of our commitment to help communities thrive. The team have been working with Durrell to enable the Future Conservationists Programme and we are delighted to be Education Partner to Durrell's Wild in Art Trail this year. We truly hope that our support will encourage and inspire more young people to spend time in nature, learning how precious wildlife is to our natural eco-system and we can't wait to see Tortoise Takeover in action."
Jon Kandiah, Chief Operating Officer at BDO in Jersey added: “We are delighted to see the young tortoises out in the wild and to see how many schools and community groups have been able to take part. This a great way to get our local community involved in supporting the new reptile enclosure at Jersey Zoo whilst learning about conservation. It has also been an incredibly fun way to bring our community together.”
Fiona Marchant, Conservation Learning Manager at Durrell commented: “Tortoise Takeover has given Jersey Zoo’s Learning Department a great opportunity to engage with people from right across Jersey. The creative efforts and enthusiasm from all of the participating schools and community groups has been fantastic to see. Now that the trail is ready to go we hope that everyone loves the beautiful designs and that we can all spend the summer exploring the island as a community!”
Gareth Hughes, Headmaster at Victoria College added: “We have been thrilled to take part in the young Tortoise Takeover trail initiative this year at Victoria College. So many of our students took the opportunity to get creative on the tortoise designs. It was a joy to then see older and younger children working collaboratively to bring those designs to life. Durrell is a wonderful charity and our community also loved being able to support its valuable conservation work through raising awareness of their work and fundraising. We now can't wait to see our colourful little tortoises heading out around the island this summer!”
After the trail, the young tortoises will join the giant tortoise sculptures at the zoo for a farewell weekend. After that they will return home to live with their adopted schools and community groups as a lasting legacy of the trail.
For more information on where to find the young tortoises, their artists, and the inspiration behind the design, you can visit the official Tortoise Takeover website at www.tortoisetakeover.org.