Robins take flight to Chester House Estate to celebrate hospice birthday

Five hundred hand-crafted robins are on route to Chester House Estate, set to nest in the first installation of its kind – to mark the 25th birthday of Kettering’s Cransley Hospice.
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The robins, crafted by local potter Louise Crookenden-Johnson to raise funds for the hospice, will land at Chester House Estate on Friday, 16th June for a private unveiling. From Saturday, 17th June to Sunday, 25th June the installation will be free to view and open to the general public, complemented by a robin-themed treasure hunt around the grounds of the estate.

Cllr Helen Howell, Deputy Leader of North Northamptonshire Council and Executive Member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “From 17 - 25 June, visitors to Chester House Estate will be welcomed by an incredible 500 black and white hand-crafted robins, a unique and unmissable opportunity.

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“We can’t wait to see the installation and are so proud to be supporting Cransley Hospice in their efforts to raise £20,000 funds which will help people and their families in North Northamptonshire receive specialist end of life care and support at one of the most difficult of times in their lives.”

Louise Crookenden-Johnson in her pottery studio in KetteringLouise Crookenden-Johnson in her pottery studio in Kettering
Louise Crookenden-Johnson in her pottery studio in Kettering

Louise Gurney, Community Fundraising and Events Development Manager at Cransley Hospice Trust, added: “An installation of this kind is a first for us and we are delighted to be partnering with the beautiful Chester House Estate, which feels like the perfect fit. The funds raised will enable us to continue to support the specialist care and services provided by the hospice and in the community by the hospice at home team. Together we can be there for the next 25 years.”

Robins are one of Britain’s most loved birds and many people take comfort when they see a robin, as they are said to remind us that our loved ones are close by. Each of the handmade robins, designed as bird feeders, are stamped with a number from one to 500.

Most have already been pre-ordered, but there are a few still on sale. These are available to purchase from the Cransley Hospice Trust website for £25 here:

Chester House Estate is overseen by North Northamptonshire Council and opened to the public in October 2021, following an extensive £17m Nationally Lottery Heritage Funded restoration project.