56 talented pupils at Weston All Saints Primary School (WASPS) have been painting their Owls of Bath owlet with Bath artist Laura Fearn, after the EnvironmentOWL was sponsored by Restore Our Planet, a grant-making charity involved in the protection and restoration of Britain’s natural habitat.

Restore Our Planet came to the school’s aid after hearing the story of owl fanatic and WASPS pupil, Jack Hills, who was desperate to take part in the Owls of Bath event. After fearing that he may not have a chance to be involved with the biggest owl event the region has ever seen, the enthusiastic school boy put out a plea to local businesses asking if anyone could sponsor an owlet on behalf of his school for Jack and his school friends to decorate.

On learning about Jack’s story and inspired by his love of the feathery creatures, Restore our Planet decided to sponsor and donate an owlet in support of the Bath primary school. Unbeknown to Jack, the blank owlet arrived at his school in secret. In fact, with the help of the Minerva’s Owls team and Head Teacher Dr Bull, it wasn’t until Jack was asked to come forward during the school’s assembly that the big secret was disclosed, and the owlet was brought onto the stage and given to Jack on behalf of the school.

The has now been decorated by Jack and his schoolfriend with the help of Bath artist Laura Fearn, ready to take its place at the launch of the Minerva’s Owls of Bath sculpture trail on 25 June 2018. Visitors flocking to Bath this summer will have the chance to visit the as yet unnamed owlet along with a host of other decorated owls on the interactive sculpture trail. Owls will start landing on the streets on 25 June, where they will be perched and admired until they start flying back to the nest from 10 September 2018.

All the owl and owlet sculptures will be reunited for a final ‘Hoot Farewell Weekend’ on 6-7 October before being sold off at the Minerva’s Owls charity auction on 17 October. All event profits will be donated to four local charities – the new RUH Cancer Centre, B&NES Young Carers Centre, the Roman Baths Archway Project and the UK Little Owl Project.

The smaller Owlets will be returned to their schools, community groups and charities to keep as a legacy of the event.

When asked what he thought about the owlet, Jack Hills said, “I love owls so so much. I can’t tell you how excited I am that we have finally got an owlet! I’ve been dreaming about owl designs and have worked out which bits each class is going to paint and can’t wait to get started. It’s going to be amazing to see so many owls all over Bath this summer. I’m going to see all of them lots of times and I’m so grateful that Restore our Planet has been so kind and given my school an owlet. It’s the most exciting thing ever!”

Peter Cole from Restore our Planet commented, “Our organisation invests in the protection of natural habitats all over the world and believe it is fundamental to nurture young people’s enthusiasm for the natural world wherever possible. When we heard of Jack’s fascination for owls and their conservation we knew we wanted to help him realise his dream of being involved in the Minerva’s Owls of Bath trail, which will be a wonderful event for the city this summer.”