Cambridgeshire

Coronavirus: St Neots 'rock snake' spreads lockdown joy

Snake made of rocks Image copyright Gemma Keech
Image caption About 300 painted rocks now make up the length of the snake's body

A snake made of hundreds of brightly painted rocks and pebbles has captured a community's imagination in lockdown.

Gemma Keech, who lives on the Love's Farm development in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, started the rock art with a snake face painted on one stone.

Her children added a couple more for its body and she put up a sign asking people to add, but "don't take away" to see how long it could grow.

The rocky reptile is now made up of about 300 stones.

It has been described as "awesome", "great" and "so cute" by some of the dozens of residents who have contributed their own rocks.

Mrs Keech said she had seen the idea in her mother's town, and her children wanted to do the same thing.

Although the snake was barely more than a head and a very stubby body when they started last week, others soon added their own painted rocks to its length.

Image copyright Gemma Keech
Image caption Gemma Keech said her children check on the rock snake every day
Image copyright Gemma Keech
Image caption People have added their own designs to the artwork snaking around the estate

The artwork has now wriggled its way around the park railings where it first came to life.

It was about 10m (33ft) when she measured it earlier this week, but more rocks have since been added.

A photograph of the rocky reptilian was taken by local police officers, who described it on Facebook as a "wonderful example of community spirit", which they "would... encourage others to add to".

Mrs Keech said when she saw police were writing about the snake she was "terrified I might have done something wrong - then I realised they liked it".

Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption Even the local chaplain has added her painted rocks, Mrs Keech said

She said her sons insist they check it every day, and it appeared to "bring joy to others" who saw it.

The rock snake now has its own Facebook page with more than 200 members, where photographs of new rocks are posted.

Marcus Pickering, chairman of Love's Farm Community Association, said the snake was "still growing all the time", adding: "It really seems to have caught the imagination of the community."

Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption Police who photographed the snake described it as a "wonderful" way of bringing the community together

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites