Coventry & Warwickshire

Thousands of painted rocks in Alcester 'make people smile'

Part of the line Image copyright Serena Stratford
Image caption After two weeks, more than 2,000 rocks have been placed along the line

Two thousand painted rocks are lining a Warwickshire town after hundreds joined a mission to make people smile.

The line of painted pebbles in Alcester was started by neighbours Serena Stratford and Katie Gillett.

Now, they said, people of all ages have been getting involved, adding their own designs to the trail.

Mrs Stratford said they are glad to have created something for the community to enjoy and raise spirits during the pandemic.

Image copyright Serena Stratford
Image caption The rock line stretches along the former railway line in Alcester

Painting rocks, which can be hidden, then shared by their finder through social media has become a popular trend across the country, and Alcester has its own "Alcester Rocks" Facebook page.

Mrs Stratford, who lives next door to Mrs Gillett, said: "We had just bought the children rock painting pens and after they were going to bed we started painting rocks for something to do, because we were sick of watching news.

"We had the idea to set up the line so everyone would see see them."

The trail was started along the old railway lines on 7 May with a laminated note asking for contributions to "help make people smile".

Image copyright Serena Stratford
Image caption Serena Stratford. pictured with with son Elliott, and Katie Gillett, with daughter Amélie, started the Alcester positivity rock line

Its popularity has soared, and the line is continuing to grow.

"We have had people who said they have seen elderly people putting down rocks for their grandchildren. Someone brought a rock they found in Devon," said Mrs Stratford.

"It is nice knowing we have helped other people and given them something to look out for and to get people out and about."

Image copyright Selena Stratford
Image caption Mrs Stratford said they would like the line to cover both sides of the path and said it is "achievable given how many people are involved"

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