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January 2021

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  • John McBurney

Rock Snakes Spread Lockdown Joy

Colourful rock snakes have been slithering through towns and villages of Bedfordshire helping to keep people’s spirits high during lockdown.

In Arlesey, Jess Beedle, a 17-year-old art student, started a rock snake around the outside of the war memorial.

Jess said: “The rock snake idea came from inspiration from other groups. I saw that other towns were doing it and really wanted to do something to engage the community with positivity.

I created a sign of my own and started the snake off with just a head and a tongue. On my recent walk over there the other day we counted 374 rocks. It’s just so amazing and inspiring how the community has come together during these difficult times.”

Now the the snakes are popping up everywhere!

In Henlow, ‘Steven’ the Rock Snake is growing at an exponential rate! Created by Sonia Gupta and her son, Alexander, at the last count Steven had grown to a staggering 250 rocks. Located on the pavement on Park Lane, the plan is to get him to go around the entire park.


At Polehanger River Woodland, on the outskirts of Shefford, ‘Sammy’ the Rock Snake was recently created by Samantha Lee and already it has reached over 200 rocks. Samantha told us: “We are looking to make Sammy the rock snake a permanent feature in a project called the ‘Wall of Unity’ that will hopefully be located in Shefford Town. This will involve the local community and groups painting stones and having them set permanently in a wall, as a memory of this time and pulling together as a community. This is in the early stages at the moment, but we are really hoping to make this happen.”


To get involved simply find a rock, paint it (a coat of clear varnish helps preserve it) and add it to one of the local snakes. For more information and tips search for your local ‘Rock’ group on Facebook.


The full set of photos from Arlesey:



The full set of photos from Henlow:



The full set of photos from Polehanger River Woodland:




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