The cuckoo is under threat in Kirklees – and your help and creativity is needed to highlight its plight.

A festival of arts and culture, involving children and young people in Kirklees, is inviting local residents to help create a giant 20-metre square cuckoo installation – by donating old clothing and fabric.

The ‘Our Biennale’ festival is responding to the global withNature2020 project. It is led by British artist Emma K Thomas who came up with the idea of creating images of endangered animals and plants in response to the extinction crisis.

Across the world, on Saturday May 22, the giant images will be photographed from the sky bringing together an environmental jigsaw of pictures, from Taiwan to Brazil and from USA to New Zealand.

Each of the countries involved will be choosing an animal or plant at risk of extinction in their local area. In Kirklees, an image of the endangered cuckoo will be created in a field at Stirley Community Farm, Huddersfield, by young artists from The Children’s Art School in Holmfirth.

Chloe Williams, director of Our Biennale, said: “This project offers children and young people a really positive way to engage with the climate and ecological emergency and add their voices to the call for change through creativity.

“withNature2020 is a global project that all community groups, schools, and individuals can be part of, and we are thrilled that Kirklees children have this opportunity.”

Frances Short and Tia Harley who each designed half of the Kirklees Cuckoo each during lockdown

Our Biennale is partnering with the Children’s Art School, Kirklees Museums and Kirklees Culture Declares on the project.

Local communities and schools can donate items of clothing, in the colours needed to complete the Kirklees Cuckoo, which has been designed by Frances Short, aged 13, and Tia Harley, 14.

They can also take part by sending children and young people’s drawings of one of the shortlisted birds at risk in our area: cuckoo, twite, ring ouzel, curlew and yellowhammer.

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All drawings will be exhibited in the Maker World, Piazza Shopping Centre, Huddersfield town centre from May 22-30.

Those interested in being involved in the project can attend an information evening on April 14.

Find out more about the cuckoo project here