Happy Hump Day News: Botany, Banksy and Bus Stop Art

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If, like us, you’ve entered this week more confused than you left the last, then a healthy dose of happy hump day news is exactly what you need to power on through.

Spring in your step


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With daily walks firmly part of our routine now, but nowhere really to go, we’ve found ourselves looking around more as opposed to straight ahead – especially at nature. There have been a fair few times that we’ve wondered what a certain plant or flower is called, and it seems others have felt the same! Botany boffins, coined ‘rebel botanists’ have been writing the names of species in chalk on pavements all around the world, so we can learn a little while we wander. Apparently, writing on pavements in chalk is actually illegal in Britain, but we hope that the police will ‘leaf’ these scribbles alone, while they last. 

Meals on wheels

Just one of the many commendable efforts to help feed frontline workers and the vulnerable is taking place in a gurdwara in Kent. Volunteers are helping to deliver donated ingredients, cook nutritious meals and take them to hospitals, cares homes and individuals who are in need. The average number of meals packaged up per day is around 850 at the moment – an incredible feat and an enormous help to the community. 

Game Changer


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The famously controversial Bristolian artist Banksy left a surprise gift at Southampton General Hospital last week – a black and white picture of a child playing with a superhero toy dressed in a nurse’s uniform. The artwork is currently on display in the hospital but will be auctioned after lockdown eases, with all of the proceeds going to NHS charities. 

London Streetspace


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As lockdown measures ease, new plans are being drawn up to give pedestrians and cyclists more space in the capital, so that they can continue to socially distance while travelling around the city. This will hopefully encourage long term changes in lifestyle too, which will help to keep air pollution as low as possible and public transport less congested. 

Frontline athletes


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Nike has donated 140,000 items to frontline workers around the world, including 2,500 pairs of trainers that have been distributed in Europe. The Nike Air Zoom Pulse sneakers have been specially designed for healthcare workers. The company has also produced water bottles, kit bags, headbands and hats to help those who are working tirelessly to make people better. 

Giant panda pops!


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Two giant pandas, Wu Wen and Xing Ya, on loan from China to Ouwehands Zoo in Holland have become new parents. The birth of a giant panda is a cause for celebration because the species famously struggles to mate, and couples only have a small window during which to successfully do so. When Wu Wen and her new arrival emerge from the maternity den in a few month’s time, zookeepers will be able to see if the little giant panda is a boy or a girl. 

Bus stop art


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A mother and daughter living in west London have set up a bus stop gallery across the street from their home. When lockdown began, they decided to brighten up the view from their window, which happened to feature this particular bus stop. Now, the shelter is covered in bright pictures depicting joyful messages. Why not open up a sister gallery near where you live? 

Animal dances


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Zoos across the country are in a strange position – parks aren’t open to the public, but day-to-day care of the animals still needs to be carried out. One of the most recent TikTok challenges sees zookeepers across the country dancing to Blinding Lights by The Weekend, then nominating a fellow park to partake in the big dance off. 

And finally…

In the Welsh town of Llandudno, mountain goats have taken over the streets in the absence of people and cars. These Kashmir goats have in fact become so famous that charity t-shirts depicting the crew have been made, and have raised £33,000 so far for a nearby hospice.

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