We would be grateful if you could credit this website if you link to it or use any of the
resources or Melanie’s images for publication or online promotion. Thank you.

SAWlogoSomerset Art Works (SAW) and The Great Crane Project have been working in partnership since 2010. SAW has developed a programme of community engagement projects, inspired by cranes, to offer creative opportunities to local schools, groups and individuals and to help raise awareness and support for this fascinating conservation project. Our successful partnership continues with further fundraising and new developments for 2014.  See for updates.  SAW Project Co-ordinator – Beccy Swaine

GCP-LAYEREDThe Great Crane Project’s central aim is to re- establish cranes as a sustainable breeding species in the UK so they can be enjoyed by future generations.   For nearly 400 years, these stunning birds have been missing from our wetlands. Drainage and hunting caused them to disappear as a breeding bird by the start of the 17th Century. In order to achieve this, the project needs to build support for landscape-scale wetland biodiversity conservation amongst the local and rural communities of the Somerset Levels and Moors. The story of the reintroduction of the common crane is a wonderful way to build this support.   Cranes are naturally well suited to art projects as they are charismatic, elegant and enigmatic birds that have been depicted in art for centuries. By working in partnership with Somerset Art Works, the story of the crane – and its return – is creatively brought to life in the community.  Great Crane Project Manager – Damon Bridge

MTMelanie Tomlinson – The Company of Cranes Project Artist
Melanie Tomlinson was commissioned in 2013 to work closely with the project teams at SAW and The Great Crane Project. Melanie travelled with the Great Crane Project team to Brandenburg in Germany to observe the collecting of crane eggs and their subsequent journey back to the UK, shadowing the hatching and rearing process at Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Gloucestershire and then final release of the cranes onto the Somerset Levels UK.  Melanie’s beautiful hand printed pre-cinema objects including zoetropes, praxinoscopes and finely detailed illustrations narrate the cranes’ journey from Brandenburg to Somerset.  These were shown at exhibitions in 2013 at both Slimbridge WWT and during Somerset Art Weeks. Planning is in process to enable touring the art work to Germany, further strengthening the German-UK partnership within the Great Crane Project.As well as developing her own creative response to the project, Melanie’s commission involved running workshops in local and European Schools, creating a series of online resources (found on this website) to widen the reach of the project and develop links between schools.
ASHAsh Primary School, Somerset
Ash Primary School has been involved in the planning and delivery of this project as part of their European twinning project ‘Flying Through Europe’.  In October 2013 Melanie Tomlinson travelled with Ash School to Mons, Belgium, to deliver crane inspired workshops to nearly 100 children from twinned schools in Turkey, Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Portugal, Lithuania and the UK (Ash School).
ACE2Arts Council England has funded Melanie Tomlinson’s commission through SAW’s successful Make Create, Cultivate programme. ‘Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better.’
Funding for the development the online resources has been provided by InspirED Somerset.  InspirED is a unique partnership between Somerset Art Works, Somerset Film, SPAEDA and Take Art, bringing the skills and expertise of arts and media professionals direct to Somerset schools, colleges and education settings. Contracted by Somerset Children and Young People’s Compact.
IGNITEIgnite Somerset is delivered by Somerset Film and supported by Arts Council.  It provides new opportunities for artists to explore the potential of digital technology as a means of creating and sharing art.  Ignite is providing on-going support to artist Melanie Tomlinson.
Helpers and Volunteers
Many thanks to the many helpers and volunteers who have given their time, advice and support to this project, particularly those from The Great Crane Project.
Featured Photographs
With appreciation to the following photographers for images used on this website: Melanie Tomlinson, Sasha Dench, Nisha Haq Photography
, Damon Bridge and The Great Crane Project.
Organisation Information – Key Partners

Somerset Art Works (SAW) is a non-profit making organisation promoting the Visual Arts and creating opportunities for Visual Artists and Makers in Somerset through advocacy, promotion and development. SAW initiates and manages a range of events, projects and opportunities throughout the county and is a membership organisation for practising artists. /

The Great Crane Project is a partnership project between the RSPB, the Wildlfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) and the Pensthorpe Trust, with major funding support from Viridor Credits Environmental Company.It was set up with the aim of helping the re-colonisation of the UK by the crane and securing the crane’s future as a breeding species.