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DSC01698Schools across Surrey are signing up to the Surrey Hills CowParade – the world’s largest public art event which comes to the county this summer.

Among the Infants, Primary and Junior schools taking ‘mini-moos’ is Shottermill Infants School in Haslemere.  Head mistress Mrs Jilly Storey says: “I think the CowParade is marvellous for children. It inspires them to be as creative as possible, giving them a real sense of community. The CowParade has created a buzz of excitement around the school, from parents as well as the children.”
More than 200 pupils attend Shottermill Infants. Children from each of the school’s seven classes created artistic mini-moo designs that were voted on by ballot. The best design from each class went on to the final, and now the pupils will be working on painting their calf-sized ‘mini-moo’ from the winning entry.

Mrs Storey adds: “We like to do school community art projects and CowParade has caught the imagination of the children. It is really uplifting for schools to take part in this kind of exercise which is very educational for them, as well as great fun.  I hope that other schools in the county can find sponsors to support them to buy mini-moos so they too can get involved in this great community event.”
Schools which have signed up also include St John’s Primary School, Redhill; Auriol Junior School, Epsom; Barnett Wood Infants School, Ashstead; Cranleigh Preparatory School; St Hilary’s, Godalming; St Charles Borromeo Catholic Primary, Weybridge; Rowan Preparatory School, Claygate; Limpsfield Church of England Primary School.

DSC01704CowParade Leader Tim Metson says: “We are keen for as many state schools and private schools to get involved as possible and our super-cute calf-sized versions are ready and waiting to be painted by budding young artists! It’s a unique opportunity for children to get involved in the creativity of CowParade whilst raising much needed school funds. We recommend that each participating school finds a sponsor (a business or a parent/group of parents) to purchase a ‘Mini Moo’ and we have developed a special information pack for schools to help approach potential sponsors.”

Over the summer months brightly-coloured cows will decorate the hills, farms, towns, schools and popular landmarks across the county. Organisers are currently encouraging individuals, companies, schools and other organisations to sponsor a life-sized cow and either decorate it themselves or bring in an artist to do it.

The cows will then be displayed around the county before being herded to the inaugural Surrey Hills Food, Drink and Music Festival on September 3. Those judged the pick of the herd will go to auction at a gala ceremony in London later in the year.

Proceeds will be shared equally between the Surrey Hills Trust Fund, established in partnership with the Community Foundation for Surrey to conserve and protect Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which supports local community projects and enterprise schemes, and the individual charities selected by the cow sponsors.

CowParade was born in Switzerland in 1998 and has been staged in more than 80 cities and towns worldwide. Over the years 3,000 cows have been decorated by more than 5,000 artists. CowParade New York had 450 cows and was seen worldwide by 45 million people. The highest-grossing cow was created by designer John Rocha for CowParade Dublin in 2003 – studded with thousands of pieces of Waterford Crystal it was auctioned for $146,000 – quite a lot of moo-lah indeed.

For more information on how to take part call the Surrey Hills CowParade team on 01483 661150 or visit: www.surreyhillscowparade.com