Network Rail is inviting schoolchildren in Dawlish, Devon, to take part in an art competition that will brighten up hoardings around the new sea wall works close to Dawlish station.

Winning pictures, based on the theme ‘What Dawlish means to me’, will be reproduced on the hoardings, remaining in place until the works are complete in spring 2020.

There will be four different age categories for the art competition including under fives, ages five to eight, nine to 11 and 12 years-old and over. Children whose designs are selected, will be invited to attend the unveiling of their art on the hoardings later this autumn.

The designs must be A3 in size and can be submitted to the Network Rail Community Information Hub located near Dawlish Station, which is open every Wednesday (11am – 2pm), by 6 November.

David Lovell, senior programme manager for Network Rail's South West Rail Resilience Programme, said: “We’re inviting pupils to show off their creative skills and share what they love about Dawlish through our hoardings art competition. This is an opportunity to showcase talent, or just have a bit of fun!

“Two local schools, Orchard Manor School and West Cliff Primary, have already expressed an interest in taking part, however, all children from the town are welcome to enter, with entries to be submitted no later than Wednesday 6 November.”

In addition to the art competition, Network Rail has invited pupils from local schools to visit the site to learn more about how the works are progressing and how the new sea wall will protect both the railway line and Dawlish for generations to come.

The school trips follow visits by GCSE pupils from Wellington School, and Stokehill Infant and Nursery School earlier this year. Network Rail wants to replicate the success of these visits by giving pupils from the local area a chance to get involved too.

David Lovell, added: “We’re encouraging local schools to join us for a question and answer session, giving inquisitive children the opportunity to find out more about one of the largest and most important pieces of rail resilience engineering in the UK.

“They’ll discover all about the sea wall upgrade, which will provide greater protection to the railway and town from rising sea levels and extreme weather for the next 100 years. Started in June this year, with a break during the peak summer tourist season, the works will continue through to spring 2020.”

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