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Floodplain Meadow Arts Competition 2021

The OU and the Floodplain Meadows Partnership have launched an Arts and Crafts competition to help raise awareness of the UK’s diminishing floodplain meadows.

Found throughout Britain’s river valleys, floodplain meadows are resilient to floodwaters and can contain more than 40 different plant species per one metre square. Throughout spring and early summer, meadows are awash with wildflowers, humming with insects and the birds that depend on them.

More than 97% of meadows have been lost in the last 100 years – resulting in biodiversity decline, loss of space for flood and soil carbon storage, and lost access to our rural history. Through the competition, we want to raise awareness of floodplain meadows and convince Government that they are the best use of floodplains on lowland rivers and should be seen as part of a package of natural climate solutions. That is where you come in

The competition

Funded by the Morgan Family Bursary Fund and the William Dean Countryside and Educational Trust, the Floodplain Meadows Arts Competition 2021 invites all types of artists and crafters to help raise awareness of floodplain meadows and how they can be part of a package of natural climate solutions.

The competition is open to everyone and to get involved we’re asking all budding artists to observe these wonderful floodplain meadows and create a piece of art that represents the importance and beauty of these natural habitats.

Remember to look out for the unmistakable nodding, pink and purple chequered flowers of the snake’s-head fritillary during April which can only be found in some of these meadows and create a stunning display.

You can find more information about where floodplain meadows are found through our map here http://www.floodplainmeadows.org.uk/about-meadows/meadow-map but not all have public access, so please do check.

The themes we are interested in particularly are:

  • The role of floodplain meadows in managing climate change
  • The importance of floodplain meadows for nature
  • The contribution of floodplain meadows in a sustainable agricultural system.
  • Letting rivers flood onto floodplains


1. Publicity for your work:

  • Our favourite submissions will be used on postcards, posters, banners, social media, on our website and in other material to promote floodplain meadows.
  • The 12 winning entries that are suitable for this purpose will be made into a calendar for 2022
  • There will be an online exhibition. We are investigating the possibility of hosting a physical exhibition so artwork can go on display and be visited during October 2021 (location tbc).
  • Artists will be accredited for all their work that we use.

2. A £250 voucher to spend with the brilliant Field Studies Council https://www.field-studies-council.org/


How to enter

1. Visit a floodplain meadow between April 2021 and August 2021

2. Create a piece of art based on your visit. For example:

  • Photography
  • Poetry & Creative Writing
  • Drawing, Painting & Mixed media
  • Film, Sound & Music
  • 3D/sculptural e.g. ceramic/knitted/wire/other
  • Other – these are just ideas, so feel free to use your imagination!

3. Submit your entry online before midday 28th August 2021.

Submission form here http://www3.open.ac.uk/forms/FMPartsandcrafts/​ 

For any queries, please contact Floodplain-Meadows-Project@open.ac.uk



If we are able to host a physical exhibition, we will use this opportunity to select the final winners. If we are unable to host a physical exhibition, judging will be based on digital images/files submitted. If you are unable to get your artwork to a physical exhibition, this would not preclude your work from being a winning entry.


Numbers selected for the exhibition will depend on how many entries there are, and sizes of entries etc. We will try and accommodate as many as possible for the exhibition, and will not limit it other than for space reasons. You will be required to bring your artwork to the exhibition and collect it yourself at the end. We do not have any holding space. Posting it can be arranged, but this is at your own risk. Exhibition is to be confirmed. Art work will be presented in an on-line exhibition regardless.

The submission small print

No more than 3 pieces of artwork will be accepted per individual.

We welcome submissions from anywhere in the world, and accept that you may therefore not be able to bring your work to a physical exhibition.

Your art work must be submitted by email in the first instance, even if it is a 3D piece of work (in which case please submit a photograph of your work).

Size of submissions

  • All 2D work such as painting, drawing, projected videos (including moving images and installation) must be 120 x 120 cm in size max.
  • All three-dimensional work, including sculptures, ceramics, and mixed media artworks, must be 80 x 80 x 80 cm max in size.
  • FILM & SOUND: Please upload your work to YouTube, or send an MP4/WAV/other file via WeTransfer and send us a link to share following the submission information above.
  • Other: Send a picture of artwork, or document (Word Document or PDF) if written work in the first instance by following the submission information above.
  • All files submitted to floodplain-meadows-project@open.ac.uk must be no larger than 20 MB. If your file is larger than that, please submit a link to a file share such as WeTransfer or other.

Legal stuff

By submitting an entry, you warrant to the Floodplain Meadow Partnership that your entry is original to you, that you have full Copyright and that it does not infringe copyright or any other intellectual property right and does not defame or invade the privacy rights of any third party, or infringe any other legal rights, regulations or laws. The work does not have to have been produced during the period of this competition as long as the above conditions apply.

Events – Events may occur which render the awarding of the prizes impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the Floodplain Meadow Partnership who may, at its absolute discretion, vary, amend, suspend or withdraw the prizes or amend these Terms and Conditions with or without notice.

Judges – The judges’ decisions will be final and no correspondence will be entered into in relation to their decisions or the Competition.

Winning Entrant – The winning entrants also agree to the Floodplain Meadow Partnership’s use of his/her name and photograph in relation to publicity material.

Personal details will only be retained and used by the Floodplain Meadow Partnership for the purposes of this competition and will be deleted thereafter, unless the box in the submission has been ticked, in which case personal details will be retained as indicated. Personal details will not be passed on to third parties.

The result of the competition is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

The Floodplain Meadow Partnership cannot accept responsibility for or liability arising from participants taking part in the competition or for taking up the prizes. The Floodplain Meadow Partnership gives no warranty or guarantee in relation to the prize and accepts no responsibility or liability for the prize being amended by the Floodplain Meadow Partnership. To the fullest extent permissible by law, the Floodplain Meadow Partnership excludes liability for all loss, damage or claim arising as a result of the participant’s entry into the competition or use of the prize.

These terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law. Disputes arising in connection with this competition shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.