As part of the Nenescape Landcape Partnership Scheme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Nene Park is working with METAL Peterborough and Thames Festival Trust on an exciting international art and education project that connects young people around the globe to their local river. 

In 2019 students from secondary schools in Peterborough took part in art workshops with local artists Jeni Cairns and Stuart Payn. Students created exciting new banner art works that responded to the River Nene and they were displayed at Orton Mere and Thorpe Meadows. Students also attended a creative workshop at Ferry Meadows, led by Clare Collison, exploring nature and the landscape through words and delivering some amazing live performances of their spoken-word poetry. 

This year in 2020 artworks by young people in Peterborough will be exhibited in Nene Park, close to the River Nene at Orton Mere and Thorpe Meadows from 7 October as well as outside Tate Modern Gallery in London.

Following last year’s successful exhibition, young people in Peterborough have created a new series of magnificent river-themed artworks by working remotely with artists Jeni Cairns and Stuart Payn. Due to international lockdowns, the work has been generated at home (rather than in school), using digital briefs or short films made by the artists to explore the river and the environment and teach new creative skills. The finished pieces show young people’s strength of spirit and imagination in the face of Covid-19. Their ideas come together through collective effort and the final designs are being exhibited in Nene Park and around the world, connecting everyone, this year more aptly then ever!

Rivers of the World links secondary schools in Peterborough, and other towns and cities across the UK, with partner schools in developing countries overseas. Over two thousand young people from across the globe get involved. The programme helps young people understand the importance of their local waterfront and the environmental challenges it faces.

Peterborough participating schools include: City of Peterborough Academy, Ken Stimpson Community School, Queen Katharine Academy, St John Fisher Catholic High School and Thomas Deacon Academy. Young people from across the city were also involved through a public competition inspired by a poem by Peterborough’s Young Poet Laureate Faith Falayi.

River Nene by Faith Falayi - Peterborough’s Young Poet Laureate


still and blue,

moving on a map.

Inside you, glancing silver bellies flash,

winking ice turquoise, green glimmer splash.

Floating white clouds with wings,

rolling rings across your surface.

Breezing, flowing, breathing,

waving, swelling, easing,

melting, streaming,


out to sea.

Rivers of the World is the Thames Festival Trust’s flagship art and education project delivered in partnership with Metal, Nene Park Trust, Nenescape and the British Council. It is supported by  Syntax Poetry Festival and the National Lottery Heritage Fund through Nenescape Landscape Partnership Scheme.

 nenescape logo and heritage lottery logo     

Find out more about the project: