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Judges Agonise Over Forest of Drawings Competition

Tuesday, 31st July 2012

Organisers of the three major arts festivals came together at CONKERS to judge the National Forest Wood Fair’s ‘Forest of Drawings’ competition.

Alistair Kennedy of Burton-based PINT Arts Festival, Sharon Brown of Melbourne Festival and Lorna Blease from Ashby Arts Festival sifted through nearly 400 beautiful creations - struggling to choose the winning eight. 

Penny Wilkinson from the National Forest Company said: “We were absolutely thrilled by the huge response to this competition.  We will certainly have a challenge in displaying every single entry – but that is exactly what we will do at the Wood Fair over the August Bank Holiday Sunday 26 and Monday 27 August to create a ‘Forest of Drawings’.

“Our artistic judges genuinely struggled to choose the winning pictures from the mountain of entries that we received as so many were just brilliant! So - as well as the winners, they agreed on a commended list.”

Winning entries

Age 4, Niamh Vaughan

Age 5, Eesa Tasneem

Age 6, Oliver Baker

Age 7, Benjamin Barratt-Peacock

Age 8, Rameesha Malik

Age 9, Mimi Pilkington

Age 10, Katie Spray

Age 11, Amanda Lilley


Age 4, Fiona Warburton

Age 5, Madison Sherratt

Age 6, Evie Smith

Age 7, Isabella Scanlon

Age 8, Abby Rose Turner

Age 9, Delilah Pay

Age 10, Zoe Hadjinikolaou

Age 11, Maisy Fitzgerald

Many primary schools from towns and villages in and around The National Forest got involved in the competition including Brookside in Oadby, St John Fisher in Wigston, St Peters in Earl Shilton, St Bartholomew’s in Quorn, Dove Bank in Nailstone, Waltham on the Wolds, Higham on the Hill, Ashby Hill Top, St Deny’s in Ibstock, Glenfield, Wood End in Atherstone, Woolden Hill in Anstey, Swithland St Leonard’s, Linton and Sutton Bonington.

Alistair Kennedy from PINT Arts Festival said: “The quality of entries and the sheer number was overwhelming but we were in agreement (eventually) on the winners.  I am really looking forward to seeing all of these on the display at the Wood Fair.”

The National Forest Wood Fair is organised by the National Forest Company (NFC) and Leicestershire County Council, and will see awe-inspiring lumberjacks, the fast and furious UK Championship Log to Leg Race, horse logging, chainsaw carving, pole lathe turning, forest machinery, falconry and lots of children’s activities from eco art to greenwood crafts, making pizzas to scaling the climbing wall - all in the stunning setting of Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire. 

For more information on the Wood Fair visit the website

Melbourne Festival is the highlight of South Derbyshire’s cultural calendar. Each September Melbourne comes alive as a hub for creative and performing arts.  Concerts and performances will run from 15 to 29 September, with its popular Art and Architecture Trail, featuring over 100 artists exhibiting in 60 homes, halls & businesses in the heart of Melbourne, taking place on the opening weekend.  For more information and a festival programme visit the website

The new contemporary art festival, PINT Arts Festival, takes place across Burton upon Trent from 26 October to 4 November.  Artists will exhibit and perform in venues across the town with painting, sculpture, illustration, ceramics, photography, craft and music. For more information visit the website

Ashby Arts Festival took place earlier this year with a stunning programme of music, dance, crafts theatre and photography. For more information visit the website


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