Essex

West Mersea childminder turns beach litter into poppies

Thira Lane
Image caption Thira Lane with some of the plastic bottles she has turned into poppies ahead of Remembrance Day

A childminder has turned plastic litter found on a beach into poppy artwork for Remembrance Day.

Thira Lane, 47, from Mersea Island, Essex, has a passion for recycling and has previously created igloos and model seagulls from household waste.

Now she has used drinks bottles to create poppies to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.

She has been praised by Ofsted for her use of artwork to engage youngsters in her 14 years as a childminder.

Image copyright Universal Images Group
Image caption Thira Lane uses litter that has washed up on Mersea Island's beaches as raw material for her creations
Image copyright Thira Lane
Image caption The poppies are made using the bases of plastic drinks bottles found on the island south of Colchester

Ms Lane said her greatest achievement was an igloo made from 700 milk cartons, found on the island near Colchester.

"Volunteers are always clearing rubbish and some of it is useful," she said.

"I have made seagulls from waste cardboard and sacking, and people from across the island collected milk bottles for me to make the giant igloo."

Image caption Ms Lane with the poppy display outside her home in West Mersea

Mums at West Mersea's primary school have also taken up Ms Lane's idea and are also turning the bottoms of plastic bottles into poppies for the Royal British Legion's annual campaign.

Remembrance Day will be also be marked elsewhere on the island with displays including soldier silhouettes, known as "Tommies", decorated with candles and crocheted poppies.

Image caption Ms Lane has also created seagulls from household waste that would otherwise be thrown away
Image copyright Thira Lane
Image caption Some 700 milk cartons were glued together to create the igloo, but it fell apart after about six months

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