Origami red squirrels raising awareness
Origami is an interactive and fun way to raise awareness of the threats to red squirrel survival and the importance of efforts to save them.
While practicing this art of paper folding, people can also enjoy the many therapeutic benefits origami has to offer.
The Red Squirrel Origami Project (RSOP) aims to promote red squirrel conservation and raise awareness of declines in the UK population.
RSOP is supported by the Sefton Borough of Culture 2020 (Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture for 2020) and Lancashire Wildlife Trust (covering Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside).
Creating your own red squirrel
RSOP’s origami design helps people fold paper into an attractive red squirrel that is fairly straightforward for beginners to manage. Pilot projects carried out with children and adults have shown all participants successfully being able to make the design.
There is a leaflet and a video tutorial available online for you to reproduce the origami red squirrel at home. Perhaps share your creations as presents or encourage family and friends to make their own. This can help with knowledge sharing and promote healthy communities and could be the first step to a new hobby.
RSOP is distributing leaflets to community centres, schools and libraries around Sefton. The leaflet contains red squirrel awareness information and the instructions of how to make the Origami Red squirrels.
Boosting health and wellbeing
Origami originated in Japan and is the ancient art of paper folding. As well as forming beautiful creations, the practice has several mental and physical health benefits. This art therapy can be an excellent relaxation technique, can boost mindfulness and cognitive skills, can help in injury and stroke rehabilitation, and improve the way the mind and body work together as it uses both hands and both sides of the brain.
Through origami art, RSOP aims to bring awareness and understanding of our precious red squirrels to a wider audience in an interactive and fun way. It is also a fantastic way to bring communities together to practice mindfulness and enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of origami.
Make your own origami red squirrel
A folded leaflet with instructions is available in PDF format at https://origamipulse.com/projects/
You can find a video tutorial of how to make the origami red squirrel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mS2l5dTN7DU
If you would like printed leaflets for your organisation please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Zulay Newell is a wildlife enthusiast, origamist and the co-founder of the the social enterprise Origami Pulse CIC. Based in Merseyside, she frequently sees red squirrels in the woodlands in Formby - an important red squirrel stronghold. Seeing red squirrels inspired Zulay to find out more about them and create the origami red squirrel design in 2019 and later the wider Red Squirrel Origami Project.