Ian Prescott gets snap happy with children from Bowburn Junior SchoolSchool children from Bowburn have been getting ‘snap happy’ to preserve what life is like for young people their village in 2016.

The special photographic project, which was part of Bowburn Junior School’s 40th anniversary celebrations, saw pupils provided with disposable cameras and sent out into the community to capture images that demonstrated change in the village.

The initiative has been a huge success and a display of their work is now in place at Bowburn Community Centre.

The cameras were provided by Keepmoat, the development partner in the Durham Villages Regeneration Company (DVRC), which is building new homes in the village.  Headteacher, Jacqui Glass, said: “The Year five children enjoyed taking part in the photography project.  It helped to enhance their topic on local history and made them think about not only what makes a good photograph but which elements of life in Bowburn are important to them.

“The village is changing and this made the children take a closer look at their surroundings and discuss how it has changed and will be likely to change further in future.  It was also another enjoyable activity undertaken alongside DVRC.”

DVRC, a partnership between Durham County Council and Keepmoat, is making a £5 million investment in Bowburn, building 40 two, three and four bedroomed homes – including some bungalows – for sale and for rent, on the site to the south of Oakfield Crescent.  The Meadows is the company’s sixth development in the village.

Over the past 20 years the partnership has delivered a £100 million plus, housing-led regeneration initiative in the county.  The homes sold have attracted local buyers – around 55% from within 10 miles – keeping communities together.  However new residents have also been attracted to old villages, providing a kick start to local economies.

Ian Prescott, Keepmoat Land and Partnerships Director, said: “DVRC worked with the school to devise this project and we are delighted to see the photographs and excellent work that the youngsters have put into their display.

“As our work progresses and new homes are developed, the appearance of the communities in which we work changes. We often think back to how places looked when we were very young and what life was like. Now, these children have created a snap shot of Bowburn from a child’s-eye view that not only informs us of how they see the world but can also teach future generations about a point in time when their village – and others around County Durham – were changing dramatically.”