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Arts and crafts coming to the fore in wake of bushfires

Date: 13-Jan-20
Author: Liam Taylor

A cottage industry of 'sewing bees' has cropped up in response to the recent bushfires.

A cottage industry of 'sewing bees' has cropped up in response to the recent bushfires.

Australia’s recent bushfires have left a trail of devastation in their wake, but one of the bright spots to emerge is the compassion of volunteers towards injured wildlife. 

One of the best examples of this is the slew of ‘sewing bees’ being organise by craftspeople in order to make useful items for the many animals in need. Sewing machines, knitting needles, crochet hooks and all manner of arts and crafts equipment have been brought out in order to make items such as joey pouches, bat wraps and koala mittens.

The Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild, which was founded in April last year, provides resources and tutorials through social media for those interested in making items for animals. Initially set up to support dogs and cats who have suffered trauma, the onset of the bushfires changed the focus of the group to caring for native wildlife.

Since then, membership of the group increased from just a handful of craftspeople to well in excess of 200,000 on its Facebook page and group. Belinda Orellana, one of the group’s founders, told ABC News that while the group was struggling to keep up with the influx of interest it was fantastic to see so many people getting involved.

"There's thousands and thousands of posts that have to be approved onto the page and questions that are coming in, private messaging, emails, so we're doing 18-hour days just trying to get through that,” Belinda said.

"It's very overwhelming but it's very humbling at the same time that so many people want to help." 

The recent bushfires have decimated Australia’s national parks and other biodiversity hotspots, killing approximately one billion animals, flooding wildlife hospitals and carers with injured wildlife and burning millions of hectares of bush. WWF estimates some of the ecosystems affected by fire could take decades to recover, while certain species may have been pushed past the brink of extinction.


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Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.

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