Surrey Hills CowParade to be launched at Sandown Park as artist Alexander Creswell is named Patron of innovative public

Surrey: November 2, 2015: Hundreds of brightly-coloured cows are set to decorate the hills, farms, towns, schools and popular landmarks across Surrey next year with the aim of sharing the beauty of the Surrey Hills and providing a massive boost to local businesses and community projects.

Internationally renowned artist Alexander Creswell has agreed to be Patron of the Surrey version of CowParade, the world's largest public art event, which is designed to focus attention on his beloved Surrey Hills

CowParade in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty hopes to round up the support of celebrities and community groups to raise money for health and wellbeing projects. It will be officially launched on Sunday, November 8th at Sandown Park Racecourse in Esher during the racecourse’s launch fixture of the Jump season; Countryside Day.

The high-profile event will lead to dozens of brightly coloured, life-sized cows being displayed throughout the entire county of Surrey in 2016. Organisers hope to involve everyone from schoolchildren to sportsmen, singers to businesses and were delighted when Mr Creswell agreed to lend his name to the project.

He said: “I am thrilled to be Patron of this inspiring event. The Surrey Hills CowParade provides an extraordinary opportunity for the community and celebrates our remarkable local landscape and heritage through Art. The CowParade is a brilliant platform for generating creativity and for bringing together businesses, schools and individuals across Surrey, it will also be a huge amount of fun! Together we will be creating a massive art installation with the potential to raise lots of money for good causes and for the Surrey Hills Trust Fund in particular.

“As an artist I am very lucky to travel to far flung parts of the world for my work, painting the world’s greatest architecture and landscape, but returning home to the Surrey Hills always matches the beauty and energy which I see elsewhere.

“Not only do the Surrey Hills offer some of the finest landscape - in the most wooded county in the UK - but also the area is home to world class architecture inhabited by brilliant people nurturing talent, business and innovation alongside our wonderful schools.”

Mr Creswell is known for his extraordinary fluency and technical skill in watercolour and his remarkable ability to capture 'the spirit of place'. He is best known for the large series of watercolours commissioned by the Royal Collection to depict Windsor Castle after the fire in 1993 and the completion of the restoration work in 1997.

The idea of the CowParade is that individuals, companies and schools will sponsor a life-size cow and either decorate it themselves, or bring in an artist to do it. The cows will then be displayed around the county before being herded to the inaugural Surrey Hills Food, Drink and Music Festival next summer where they will be auctioned off. Those judged to be extra special will be auctioned at a glittering ceremony held at a unique London location later in the year. In a novel move, while the models are being decorated and moved around, their location can be tracked via a specially-created app.

The cow owners can choose their own charity and the auction proceeds will be split between that and the Surrey Hills Trust Fund, a charity established to conserve and protect the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, leaving a legacy for generations to come. The fund supports local community projects and enterprise schemes that benefit and enhance the Surrey Hills landscape.

Sandown Park Racecourse, part of the Jockey Club Racecourse group, will be donating proceeds from their cow to the Injured Jockey Fund. CowParades will be staged at several of Sandown’s high-profile race meetings during 2016.

CowParade organisers are keen for primary schools to get involved and will provide information to help them get started, with ideas for competitions and suggestions for sponsorship. A ‘mini-moo’ or calf-sized version will be available for schools to decorate and then get the chance to auction it off to raise money for the school or chosen charity.

CowParade Leader Tim Metson said: "We have already secured offers of support from key players including the National Trust, schools and Surrey businesses. The event will be driven by Coverwood Lakes & Farm and Surrey Hills Enterprises and has support from Surrey Community Foundation and the backing of Surrey County Council.

"It will give sponsors the chance to connect with millions of people and offers a huge, unique PR opportunity that should generate international interest. The cows will be bought later this year and decorated by celebrities and local organisations in the spring of 2016. They will then be auctioned off for charity in the summer of next year at an event coinciding with the Surrey Hills Food, Drink and Music Festival at Coverwood Lakes & Farm."

CowParade was born in Switzerland in 1998 and has been staged in more than 80 cities and towns worldwide. Over the years 3,000 cows have been decorated by more than 5,000 artists. CowParade New York had 450 cows and was seen worldwide by 45 million people. The highest-grossing cow was created by designer John Rocha for CowParade Dublin in 2003 — studded with thousands of pieces of Waterford Crystal it was auctioned for $146,000 — quite a lot of moo-lah indeed.

For more information on how to take part call the Surrey Hills CowParade team on 01483 661150 or visit the website at www.cowparadesurreyhills.com

Published: 11/11/2015

About Surrey Hills

The Surrey Hills is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, one of 38 nationally protected landscapes in England and Wales. The Hills stretch across a quarter of the county of Surrey and include the chalk slopes of the North Downs from Farnham in the west to Oxted in the east and extend south to the deeply wooded Greensand Hills which rise in Haslemere. The Surrey Hills offers some of South East England's most beautiful and accessible countryside. Famous beauty spots include Box Hill, Leith Hill and the Devil's Punch Bowl. You'll discover an extensive footpath network, open commons, breathtaking views, attractive market towns and villages and much more. The CowParade will not only help to raise awareness of this special landscape but also safeguard its future through donations to the Surrey Hills Trust Fund. For further information on the Surrey Hills please visit

For more information, please see:
http://www.surreyhills.org

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