A new event for an arts festival will officially launch soon.
Celebrating the native trees in the Eden Valley, it will launch on Sunday, April 3, for Appleby Art Festival, however, organisers unveiled the first tree early in response to the current war in Ukraine.
The Peace Tree, which is a work in progress, was unveiled by the Mayor of Appleby, Gareth Hayes.
Locals and visitors are invited to develop the artwork on the tree near St Lawrence’s Church and the town Bridge on the banks of the River Eden – using ribbons, crochet, knitting or other craft artwork in blue and yellow – the colours of the Ukrainian flag.
And if you arrive empty-handed, Appleby Tourist Information Centre is providing blue and yellow ribbons, in return for a donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee, Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
The main Appleby’s Tree Art Festival 2022 will be installed on April 3 and local people are already joining together to create their own artwork at the Appleby Artscene workshops being held in Appleby Library, and also on the Appleby Artscene Facebook group where people can share their artwork online.
Mayor of Appleby, Gareth Hayes said: “Unveiling the first tree, the Peace Tree early at this time seemed appropriate.
“The Tree Festival is a celebration of our trees and the benefits we gain from them.
“To have this tree to bring people together to hope and pray for peace across the world, is something required more now than ever.
“’The festival is a lovely off-shoot of the Queen’s Tree Canopy project.
“We hope our Tree Festival will capture the imagination of our all who visit, as it has inspired local people to get involved.”
Funded by Cumbria County Council, Eden District Council and Appleby Town Council the outdoor arts festival is led by Appleby based artist Karen Babayan.
Karen said: “The Festival will include a riverside art trail with 20 themed sculptures and installations in the trees along an accessible riverside walk, created by the Appleby community, tree planting and other community focussed and led activities in Holme Woods.
“As we see the war in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis it is causing, we felt it right to unveil our first tree early.
“All donations made when collecting the ribbons from the Tourist Information Centre will be matched by the UK government, and we want as many people as possible to add their ribbons and other artwork to make our ‘Peace Tree’ a unique piece of people’s art.”