British Wildlife Biro Drawing Workshop
Thought Foundation
20 April 2019


This workshop studied beloved and vulnerable British wildlife. Fundamental to combating the biodiversity crisis is looking after our own backyards, literally! Jane's presentation for this workshop shared her own experiences about her wildlife garden: 

Nearly 10 years ago my husband joined the Merchant Navy and we had to make a quick move from Northumberland to South Shields, buying to a house on a brand new housing estate. The garden was literally mud! 

Garden beginnings!

I decided to create a wildlife garden and choose plants that attracted birds and pollinators. I mostly planted from seed as seeds are cheap to buy with no pesticides involved in their growth. I tried to stick to perennials and also took cuttings from friends and family. This is what the garden looked like a year later.


It can take 10 years for birds to return to a new housing estate as the noise and upheaval scares them away. Within 3 years, the birds started to appear and in the last 4 years, I’ve had blackbirds nesting and rearing chicks! Over the years sparrows, blue tits, goldfinches, longtailed tits, wrens, fieldfares and even a snipe are amongst some of my avian visitors.

The garden also attracts loads of amazing insects, including bees, butterflies and moths. We’ve even had a hedgehog! I don’t use pesticides, I leave the greenfly for the blue tits and sparrows to eat. Slug repellents not only kill snails and slugs they poison the wildlife who eat them. I still can’t believe how nature has taken over, it is remarkable.

Rather wild 2019 garden

You don’t need a garden to encourage nature. You can create a square metre of wildlife-friendly potted plants on patio’s or sow some seeds in window boxes and wildlife will come.

Species including vulnerable and endangered species studied in this workshop included:

Red Fox
Brown Hare
Barn Owl
Common Frog
Red Deer
Red Squirrel
Pine Martin
Grey Long-Eared Bat
Atlantic Puffin
Honey Bee
Painted Lady Butterfly
Spiny Seahorse


Attending this workshop were adults and children. Kate, just 10 year old created an exceptional portrait of a badger. Alisa Richardson's common frog which she finished at home with remarkably beautiful line-making, captures this beloved amphibian beautifully.

Her daughter Violet created gorgeous sheets of drawings depicting many species and youngest daughter Edie made a splendid sheet of drawings also. Colin produced a marvellous drawing of a bee.

Dawn made a bold and colour spiny seahorse drawing and Suzanne and Helen produced delicate drawings of squirrel and bat. Beautiful barn owls by Rachel and Michael show the diversity of unique drawing styles each of us possess. Lauren's regal fox is the quintessence of British wildlife.

Badger 2019 Biro drawing Kate Tooley


Common Frog 2019 Biro drawing Alisa Richardson


Spiny Seahorse 2019 Biro drawing Dawn Hunter


Red Deer and Puffin 2019 Biro drawing Violet age 8


Hare and Bat 2019 Biro drawing Violet age 8


Painted Lady 2019 Biro drawing Katie Lawrenson


Various Species 2019 Biro drawing Violet age 8


Various animals 2019 Biro drawing Edie age 5


Honey Bee 2019 Biro drawing Colin


Red Squirrel 2019 Biro drawing Helen


Red Fox 2019 Biro drawing Lauren Bowden 


Grey Long-Eared Bat 2019 Biro drawing Suzanne Stanley


Barn Owl 2019 Biro drawing Rachel


Barn Owl 2019 Biro drawing Michael