From 10 March - 22 April 2023, artist and Drawing for the Planet Founder, Jane Lee McCracken delivered UK wildlife Biro drawing workshops to 256 North East schoolchildren in collaboration with the Great North Museum: Hancock’s project for the Art Fund’s The Wild Escape:

“The Wild Escape invites primary school children (ages 7-11) to find a favourite animal in their local museum and create an artwork imagining its journey to a natural habitat. Their pictures will be brought together in an epic collective artwork unveiled on Earth Day.” 

This online gallery exhibits 10 artworks created by Jane which feature drawings of 27 amazing UK species made by every child who participated in the project. The gallery also features major events for The Wild Escape, adults drawings, a video catalogue of all drawings, and species information illustrated with a selection of children's drawings. View the artworks and explore the wildlife below:


Images: © John Sturrock for King’s Cross and Esh Winning Primary

From 3–28 April the Art Fund’s The Wild Escape exhibition at Kings Cross, London displays a selection of images from the project including drawings by Jacob, Jayden, Ellen, Megan and Lily of Esh Winning Primary, County Durham, created in Jane's workshops. The images are "exhibited on the benches in Pancras Square and King’s Boulevard alongside images from artists Yinka Shonibare, Es Devlin, Rana Begum and more." 

Images: Swan, Lily (left); Hedgehog, Thomas (centre); Sparrowhawk, Lily (right) courtesy Esh Winning Primary

Visit Kings Cross here:


Image: Art Fund

For Earth Day 2023, 22 April Art Fund released The Wild Escape video on Piccadilly Lights, one of the UK's most iconic landmarks with 100 million people passing through Piccadilly Circus, London annually. The video featured drawings by Esh Winning children including Jacob's badger.

Image: Art Fund 

As part of the project Art Fund released The Wild Escape visuals also featuring drawings created in Jane's workshop for Esh Winning Primary including Jessie's Swan, Megan's Tawny Owl, Jacob's Badger, Thomas's Hedgehog and Ellen's Fox. 


Image: young artists with Jane, Home Educators Day, Great North Museum © Drawing for the Planet

The Wild Escape project requires participating museums to focus on UK wildlife from their collections. In celebration of the Great North Museum’s Mythquest: Monsters and Mortals exhibition Learning Officer, Kate Holden, delivered Urban Nature workshops where children from six South Tyneside and County Durham schools learned about animals in Northumbrian mythology including puffin, red fox, badger, red squirrel, rabbit, hedgehog, barn owl, jay and swan. 

Jane’s Biro drawing workshops provided children with the opportunity to draw these and other UK species. Following the workshops children were invited to write stories about the animals they studied.

Jane will create a final artwork for the project featuring a selection of drawings created in her workshops.

For further information about The Wild Escape, the Great North Museum: Hancock and it Mythquest: Monsters and Mortals exhibition please visit:


For The Wild Escape project Jane created 10 artworks: 

Northumbrian Wildlife above features a selection of drawings by participating children made in her UK wildlife workshops. The drawings form a map of Northumberland and represent species that are cherished by Northumbrians. Placement of several of the drawings symbolise wildlife she has encountered in specific areas of Northumberland during childhood holidays in Bamburgh and since 2003 as a resident of both Northumberland and South Tyneside. The drawings include puffins which indicate Holy Island and the Farne Islands, a swan pinpointing Tweedmouth, a badger in North Northumberland representing a clan of badgers inhabiting woodland near her parents home, a barn owl encountered near her current home in South Northumberland, and a Kittewake signifying South Shields and the large colony of Kittewakes at Marsden Bay. 

The nine artworks below created by Jane for each North East school feature drawings by every participating child. These artworks are available as PDF downloads for schools and home educators to download, share, print or create a poster for your school or home. Click on an image to download:

Year 5/6

21 Year 5/6 children from Stanhope Primary, South Shields created drawings of Tawny Owl, Sparrowhawk, Atlantic Puffin, Kittewake, Weasel, Robin, Mute Swan, European Hedgehog, Red Fox and Red Squirrel.  


Year 3

30 Year 3 children from Lord Blyton Primary, South Shields created drawings of Tawny Owl, Red Fox, Atlantic Puffin, Red Squirrel, Mute Swan, Eurasian Badger, Jay, Barn Owl, Weasel, Kittewake, and European Hedgehog.


Year 3

41 Year 3 children from Esh Winning Primary, Esh Winning created drawings of Barn Owl, Red Fox, Eurasian Badger, Sparrowhawk, Tawny Owl, European Rabbit, Mute Swan, European Hedgehog, Mountain Hare, Red Squirrel, Weasel, Kittewake, Robin, Chaffinch and Atlantic Puffin.


Year 3/4

34 Year 3 children from West Boldon Primary created drawings of Barn Owl, Red Fox, Eurasian Badger, Tawny Owl, European Rabbit, Mute Swan, European Hedgehog, Red Squirrel, Weasel, and Atlantic Puffin.

27 Year 4 children from West Boldon Primary created drawings of Barn Owl, Red Fox, Eurasian Badger, Tawny Owl, European Rabbit, Mute Swan, European Hedgehog, Red Squirrel, Weasel, Eurasian Jay, European mole and Atlantic Puffin.


Year 3/4

25 Year 3/4 children from Laygate Community School created drawings of Red Fox, Chaffinch, Tawny Owl, Robin, European Rabbit, Mute Swan, European Hedgehog, Red Squirrel, Eurasian Jay and Atlantic Puffin.


Year 4

27 Year 4 children from St Matthew's RC Primary created drawings of Red Fox, Robin, Barn Owl, Robin, European Rabbit, European mole, Mute Swan, European Hedgehog, Red Squirrel and Atlantic Puffin.


Age 3 - 16

16 Home Education children age 3-16 created drawings of Carrion Crow, Tawny Owl, Eurasian Badger, Stoat, Brown-lipped Snail, European Hare, Harvest Mouse, European Hedgehog, Magpie, Roe Deer, Southern Hawker, Harbour Seal, Peacock Butterfly and Bullfinch.


Age 2 - 11

On 22 April, Earth Day, 33 North East children age 2-11 created drawings of Red Fox, Southern Hawker Dragonfly, Barn Owl, Red Squirrel, Mute Swan, Atlantic Puffin, European Hare, European Hedgehog, Adder and Stag Beetle. Please note view drawings of non-UK species in DftP's Wild Postcard Gallery 2022/23 here.


The video catalogue above features Biro drawings made by 256 children of 27 Northumbrian species.


The UK is home to around 70,000 species of animals, plants, fungi and micro-organisms, including 90 species of mammal and over 600 species of birds. Britain is rich in beautiful wildlife yet it is one of the most nature-depleted countries on Earth. You may be surprised to learn that some of our most familiar and beloved wild animals, including hedgehogs, are threatened. Learn more about some of the species studied in this project below with information provided by The Wildlife Trusts and the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species:


Vulpes vulpes
Global Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN (IUCN Red List)
UK Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN England/Wales; NEAR THREATENED Scotland (Red List for British Mammals)

The Wildlife Trusts/Red Fox:


The red fox is our only wild member of the dog family. They are not fussy eaters and will happily munch on small mammals, birds, frogs, worms as well as berries and fruit! Foxes that live in towns and cities may even scavenge in bins to look for scraps. A male fox, called a dog makes a barking noise whereas the females, called vixens make a spine-chilling scream sound. A medium-sized dog, the red fox is orangey-red above, white below, with black tips to the ears, dark brown feet and a white tip to the bushy, orange tail (known as the 'brush’).


Red foxes live in a burrow system called an 'earth'. They scent-mark their territorial borders with urine, creating a very strong, recognisable odour. They also have scent glands on their feet to mark well-used trails so they can follow them easily at night.

Drawings: below left, Finlay Year 3 Lord Blyton Primary; below centre: Connell Year 3, Lord Blyton Primary; below right: Ellen Year 3 Esh Winning Primary; above left: Tyler Year 3, West Boldon; above centre left: Jenson Year 5, St Matthew's RC Primary; above centre right: Pedro Year 3, West Boldon; above centre right: M-Jay Year 4, West Boldon; above right: Keirin Year 3, West Boldon


Meles meles
Global Conservation status: LEAST CONCERN (IUCN Red List)
UK Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN

The Wildlife Trusts/Badger:


The black-and-white striped badger is a well-known species in the UK. It is our largest land predator feeding on small mammals, birds’ eggs, worms, fruit and plants. Badgers live in large family groups in burrows under the ground called a ‘sett’. You know if a sett is lived in as it is usually neat and tidy with clean doorways marked with piles of used bedding made up of dry grass and leaves. There will also be a particularly smelly pit nearby that the badgers use as a toilet! They have strong front paws, which they use to dig for food. Cubs are born in January or February but spend the first few months underground only coming out in spring when it is a little warmer.


Badgers can eat several hundred earthworms a night! They are also one of the only predators of hedgehogs - their thick skin and long claws help them to get past the vicious spines. If food is in short supply, badgers will forage during the day, as well as at night. If there are badgers nearby, you can tempt them into your garden by leaving unsalted peanuts out - a tasty snack for our striped friends.

Drawings: above left: Parker Year 3 Esh Winning Primary; bottom left: Noah Year 3 Esh Winning Primary; above right: Emily, Year 3 Lord Blyton Primary; bottom right: Jacob Year 3, Esh Winning Primary


Oryctolagus cuniculus
Global Conservation status: NEAR THREATENED (IUCN Red List)

The Wildlife Trusts/Rabbit:


Most people have spotted these adorable animals grazing in long grasses looking for their favourite foods. They were first introduced to the UK by the Normans for food and fur but are now a common sight for many. They live in large groups in underground burrow systems known as ‘warrens’. Female rabbits, called ‘does’ produce one litter of between three and seven babies every month during the breeding season – that’s a lot of little ones! Rabbits make a tasty snack for stoats, buzzards, polecats and red foxes, which is why having a warren to hide in for shelter is so important. The rabbit is grey-brown in colour, with long ears and hind legs, and a fluffy white tail. It is smaller than the brown hare and does not have black tips on its ears.


The rabbit is native to Spain and was introduced to this country by the Normans in the 12th century to provide food and fur.

Drawings: above left: Ella Year 3, Esh Winning Primary; bottom left: Leo Year 3, Esh Winning Primary; above right: Kaitlyn Year 3, Esh Winning Primary; bottom right: Ella Year 3, Esh Winning Primary


Erinaceus europaeus
Global Conservation status: LEAST CONCERN (IUCN Red List)
UK Conservation status: VULNERABLE (Red List for British Mammals)

The Wildlife Trusts/Hedgehog:


Round, brown and famously covered in spines, the hedgehog is the UK’s most familiar wild animal. They can be spotted in parks and gardens where bushes provide the perfect daytime getaway! They love long grass full of insects to feast on once the sun has set. Hedgehogs eat all kinds of invertebrates, as well as amphibians, birds' eggs and anything else they can catch; they particularly like big, crunchy beetles and earthworms, making them a gardener's best friend. Hedgehogs hibernate over winter, from about November to April, in a nest of leaves or logs called a 'hibernaculum’. A unique and unmistakeable animal, the hedgehog is small, brown and round, with yellow-tipped spines over its back, and a fur-covered face. Mostly nocturnal, you may see or hear one snuffling around the garden. 


Hedgehogs are known for their ability to roll themselves into a ball of spines when threatened. These spines are actually modified hairs and the average hedgehog has about 7000 of them, which can be raised using powerful muscles along their back.

Drawings: below left: Archie Year 3, West Boldon Primary; below right: Thomas Year 3, Esh Winning Primary; above left: Eliza age 9, Home Education; above centre left: Daniel Year 5, St Matthew's RC Primary; above centre right: Liz Year 6,Stanhope Primary; above right: Sam Year 5, Stanhope Primary


Sciurus vulgaris
Global Conservation status: LEAST CONCERN (IUCN Red List)
UK Conservation status: ENDANGERED (Red List for British Mammals)

The Wildlife Trusts/Red Squirrel:


Native red squirrels are a lot rarer in the UK than their American cousins, grey squirrels. Usually found in coniferous woodland, they like to feast on hazelnuts by cracking the shell in half. If you’re lucky you may also find pine cones that have been nibbled, leaving what looks like an apple core behind! Red squirrels make a rough nest called a ‘drey’ out of twigs, leaves and strips of bark high up in the tree canopy. Males can be seen chasing females through the trees, leaping across branches and spiralling up tree trunks. The red squirrel has a reddish-brown coat and pale underside. It has a characteristically bushy tail. It is distinguished from the grey squirrel by its smaller size, red fur and distinctive, large ear tufts.


Red squirrels do not hibernate, but they do keep stores of food to see them through difficult times when fresh food is not available. In their favoured habitats of mixed broadleaf and coniferous woodland, they have a source of food all year-round as pine seeds are present over the winter months.

Drawings: below left: Lewis Year 5, St Matthew's RC Primary; below right: Amber Year 5, St Matthew's RC Primary; centre left: Sophia, Laygate Community Primary; centre right: Esme Year 3, Lord Blyton Primary; above left: Sienna, Laygate Community Primary; above centre left: Zayn Year 3, West Boldon Primary; above centre right: Bo Year 3, Esh Winning Primary; above right: Mason Year 4, West Boldon Primary


Strix aluco
Global Conservation status: LEAST CONCERN (IUCN Red List)

UK Conservation status: AMBER (Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds 2021)

The Wildlife Trusts/Tawny Owl:


Tawny owls are our biggest common owl, familiar in Britain’s woodland, parks and gardens. The‘too-wit too-woo’ call often referred to as being the song of the generic owl, is that of the tawny owl. But it isn’t the call of a single bird, but instead made by a male and female calling to each other.The female makes a ‘too-wit’ sound and the male answers with ‘too-woo’! These incredible creatures sit on their favourite perch on the lookout for small animals like voles and mice to eat. They nest during springtime in hollow trees, or sometimes choose to reuse an old crow’s nest! The tawny owl is mottled reddish-brown, with a paler underside. It has a big, round head, rounded wings, large, dark eyes, and a dark ring around its face.


Like other owls, tawny owl can famously turn their head through 270 degrees and are able to look behind them. Although owls have binocular vision, their forward-facing eyes cannot move in their sockets, so they must turn their heads instead.

Drawings: above left: Cody Year 6, Stanhope Primary; bottom left: Maxwell Year 3, Lord Blyton Primary; centre: Luke Year 5, Stanhope Primary; right: Megan Year 3, Esh Winning Primary


Tyto alba
Global Conservation status: LEAST CONCERN (IUCN Red List)
UK Conservation status: GREEN (Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2021))

The Wildlife Trusts/Barn Owl:


The beautiful barn owl is, perhaps, our most-loved owl. With its distinctive heart-shaped face, pure white feathers, and ghostly silent flight, it's easy to identify. Look out for it flying low over fields and hedgerows at dawn and dusk. The barn owl will sometimes hunt in the daytime and can be seen 'quartering' over farmland and grassland looking for its next small-mammal meal. However, it is perfectly adapted to hunt with deadly precision in the dark of night: combined with their stealthy and silent flight, their heart-shaped faces direct high-frequency sounds, enabling them to find mice and voles in the vegetation. The barn owl has a mottled silver-grey and buff back, and a pure white underside. It has a distinctive heart-shaped, white face, and black eyes. Widespread, but absent from the Highlands of Scotland and under threat in Northern Ireland.


Throughout history, barn owls have been known by many different nicknames, such as 'ghost owl', 'church owl' and 'screech owl'. But the name 'demon owl', in particular, illustrates how they were considered by some rural populations - something not so difficult to understand when you hear their piercing shrieks and hissing calls.

Drawings: below left: Austin Year 3, Esh Winning Primary; below right: Nimoan Year 4, West Boldon Primary;  above left: Paddy Year 3, Esh Winning Primary; above centre: Millie Year 3, Lord Blyton Primary; above right: Sean Year 3, Lord Blyton Primary


Accipiter nisus
Global Conservation status: LEAST CONCERN (IUCN Red List)

UK Conservation status: AMBER (Birds of Conservation Concern 5: the Red List for Birds 2021)

The Wildlife Trusts/Sparrowhawk:


The sparrowhawk is one of our smallest birds of prey, the male being somewhere between a blackbird and a collared dove in size. The female is larger, up to the size of a feral pigeon. Sparrowhawks are excellent bird hunters, catching small species like finches, sparrows and tits; sometimes they ambush their prey from a perch, while other times they may fly low, suddenly changing direction to fool it. The sparrowhawk has rounded wings and a relatively long, narrow tail. Males are small with a blue-grey back and white underparts showing reddish-orange barring. Females are much larger, with browner plumage above and grey bars below. They both have reddish cheeks.


Female sparrowhawks can be up to 25% larger than males - the biggest size difference in any bird. Its thought that smaller males are more agile when hunting their small-bird prey.

Drawings: above left: Karim Year 3, Esh Winning Primary; bottom left: Lily Year 3, Esh Winning Primary; centre: Rihanna Year 6, Stanhope Primary; right: Faith Year 6, Stanhope Primary



Garrulus glandarius
Global Conservation status: LEAST CONCERN (IUCN Red List)
UK Conservation status: GREEN (Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2021))

The Wildlife Trusts/Jay:


The jay is a brightly coloured crow that can be found in woodland, parks and gardens. Surprisingly shy, its screaming call is most likely to be heard as it flies between trees - watch out for a flash of a bright white rump. Jays eat invertebrates, especially caterpillars and beetles, and are famous for enjoying acorns (and other nuts and fruits) during the autumn; they will also cache their finds for later. Jays are present all year-round, but are most obvious in autumn when they have to move about in the open more often, looking for food. A brightly coloured crow, the jay is unmistakeable. It is mainly pinkish-buff, with a black tail, white rump, black 'moustache', and black-and-white wings that sport a brilliant blue patch.


The acorns that jays collect and bury in the autumn ready for the winter ahead, often get forgotten, growing into Oak saplings and eventually trees.



Cygnus olor
Global Conservation status: LEAST CONCERN (IUCN Red List)

UK Conservation status: GREEN (Birds of Conservation Concern 5: the Red List for Birds 2021)

The Wildlife Trusts/Mute Swan:


The mute swan is one of the most familiar birds in the UK, its long, curved neck and graceful glide a regular sight on our waterways and waterbodies. Mute swans feed on plants, particularly waterweed. They usually mate for life, but some will have numerous partners. The only common swan in most places, the mute swan is easily recognised by its all-white body and its reddish-orange bill that has a large black 'knob' at the base.


A female swan is known as a 'pen' and a male is a 'cob'. Both males and females are involved in parenting; the cob will guard the nest while the pen leaves to feed but will not incubate the eggs. Both parents are devoted to the cygnets, which, with their downy, brown fluff and short necks, do indeed look like the 'ugly duckling' of the rhyme! However, they soon grow into their adult plumage.

Drawings: below left: Jessie Year 3, Esh Winning Primary; below centre left: Jacob Year 3, Lord Blyton Primary; below centre right: Jay Year 6, Stanhope Primary; below right: Jacob Year 5 St Matthew's RC Primary; above left: Mick Year 5, St Matthew's RC Primary; above centre left: Lenny Year 3, West Boldon Primary; above centre right: Rashme Year 6, Stanhope Primary; above right: Georgia Year 4, West Boldon Primary


Fratercula arctica 
Global Conservation status: VULNERABLE (IUCN Red List)

UK Conservation status: RED (Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds 2021)

The Wildlife Trusts/Puffin:


Sometimes referred to the ‘sea parrot’ the puffin is instantly recognisable from its brightly coloured parrot-like bill. Spending winter at sea, every year thousands of puffins return to the UK to nest in their little hobbit-like burrows in the ground. Puffins are loyal to one another, each year mating with the same bird and producing one chick. This one chick, known as a puffling, keeps its parents busy though fishing to keep it well-fed and satisfied. Their favourite meal is sand eel which they catch by diving and swimming using their wings. The puffin is black above, with a white belly and cheeks, a large, multicoloured bill, and orange, webbed feet.


The puffin is also known as the 'Sea Parrot' due to its brightly coloured bill, which is part of its breeding plumage. The bill is serrated to hold fish in place; one puffin was recorded as having 83 small sandeels in its bill at once!

Drawings:  below left: Holly Year 3, Lord Blyton Primary; below centre: Phoebe Year 3, Lord Blyton Primary; below right: Eddie Year 5, St Matthew's RC Primary; centre left: Jamie Year 5, St Matthew's RC Primary; above left: Gabriella Year 6, Stanhope Primary; above centre left: Amelia, Laygate Community Primary; above centre: Connor, Laygate Community Primary; above centre: Olivia Year 3, Lord Blyton Primary; above centre right: Matthew Year 3, Lord Blyton Primary; above right: Richard, Stanhope Primary


Rissa tridactyla 
Global Conservation status: VULNERABLE (IUCN Red List)

UK Conservation status: RED (Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds 2021)

The Wildlife Trusts/Kittewake:


The kittiwake is our most sea-loving gull, only turning up inland on odd occasions and spending winter out on the Atlantic. A medium-sized, elegant and gentle-looking gull, it eats fish, shrimps and worms, and does not scavenge at landfill sites like other gulls. It nests in colonies on clifftops and rock ledges from February until August; there are 380,000 pairs in the UK. The kittiwake is easily identifiable at its clifftop nesting colonies, particularly when you hear its 'kittiwake' call. Adults are silvery-grey above and white below, with a white head and black wingtips. Young birds have a black 'W' across their wings and back, a black neck-collar and a black band on their tail.


Studies of kittiwake colonies have shown that birds at the centre of the colony are established pairs, having been together for several years. They tend to be more successful at raising their chicks than new pairings as they share the duties of guarding the nest more equally, meaning that both parents can feed well without the chicks being left alone.

Drawings: above left: Charlotte Year 3, Lord Blyton Primary; bottom left: Naomi Year 6, Stanhope Primary; right: Indira Year 6, Stanhope Primary


In March the BBC launched Sir David Attenborough's epic new natural history series Wild Isles which celebrates the British Isles rich and diverse wildlife. Catch up via the BBC iPlayer and see some of the spectacular wildlife featured in this gallery:


"In a special documentary commissioned by the RSPB, WWF and the National Trust and inspired by Wild Isles, we hear the real stories of passionate people who are trying to restore biodiversity to the British Isles. 

Britain is globally important for wildlife, but it is also one of the most nature depleted countries in the world. Restoring nature can have far-reaching benefits for our wild isles and for ourselves. In this programme we meet the inspirational people trying to make a difference and some of the wildlife they are trying to protect." BBC iPlayer

Watch this episode here:


Image: Living Planet gallery with projection of Puffin drawing by Connor, Laygate Community Primary and Jane's Where Did All the Animals Go? exhibition

On 22 April, the museum participated in Art Fund's The Wild Escape Earth Day event which included a projection of all drawings created in Jane's workshops in its Living Planet Gallery. Jane led a public drawing workshop for children and adults to create drawings of animals in the museum’s Natural Northumbria gallery. Storyteller Lotte Dijkstra relate her story The Wild Escape: Back to Nature with visuals featuring a selection of North East children's drawings for the project.


Drawing for the Planet actively encourages everyone to draw. These drawings were created by teachers, educators, parents and museum staff during Jane's The Wild Escape workshops.

Drawings: above left: Tawny Owl, Miss Georgeson Year 3 Teacher, Lord Blyton Primary; above centre: Barn Owl, Miss Ingoe Year 3, West Boldon Primary; above centre: Weasel, Mrs Anderson Year 3 West Boldon Primary; above right: Weasel, Mr Stelling, Laygate Community Primary; above right: WeaselMrs Haynes Teaching Assistant Year 3, Lord Blyton Primarybelow left: Hedgehog, Mrs Haynes Teaching Assistant Year 3, Lord Blyton Primary; below centre: Red Fox, Mrs Chambers Year 3 Teacher, Esh Winning Primary; below right: Atlantic Puffin, Miss Wilkinson 


Drawings created by Educators during the museum's Home Education Day: Red Squirrel, Green Woodpecker, Common Pipistrelle Bat, Roe Deer fawn, Stoat, European Rabbit and Bewick's or Tundra Swan, Emma; Red Squirrel by Sarah


Drawings, Earth Day: above left: Barn Owl, Paloma and Sol; above centre left: Swan, Della; above centre: Badger, Rick; Badger, Ryan; above right: Red Fox, Ashley; below left: Red Fox, Leion; centre: Atlantic Puffin, Ruth Sheldon, Engagement Officer GNM; below centre: Barn Owl, Erhan; below right: Barn Owl, Christine


© Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums / Colin Davison 

Located in the heart of Newcastle, the Great North Museum: Hancock hold a wealth of collections, including natural history, archaeology, geology and world cultures. The museum was purpose built in Newcastle as a natural history museum in 1884 to house the growing collections of the Natural History Society of Northumbria.

Noted Newcastle born ornithologist and trailblazing taxidermist John Hancock was instrumental in securing funds for the museum. When he died in 1890 the museum, briefly called the New Museum of Natural History, was renamed the Hancock Museum. John Hancock donated his prolific collection of British birds to the museum, many of which are in the museum today. Following a £26million redevelopment in 2009, (when the Hancock Museum merged with the Museum of Antiquities and the Shefton Museum), the Great North Museum: Hancock is now a popular free family destination with a varying programme of exhibitions, expert talks, courses and activities for children. It is managed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums on behalf of Newcastle University.

The Where Did All The Animals Go? exhibition by Jane Lee McCracken in partnership with international wildlife charity Born Free and the Great North Museum is on permanent display museum’s Living Planet Gallery, which contains many of the museum’s oldest and most-loved exhibits.


Shh it's a Tiger! 2013 Biro drawing © Jane Lee McCracken

Artist Jane Lee McCracken constructs intricate multi-layered Biro drawings, sculptures, installations and designs products.  Her work explores loss to both humans and animals generated by human destruction and is representational of both life's beauty and brutal reality. She is also the Founder and CEO of Drawing for the Planet global art, environmental education and conservation charity. 

Over the last decade, through her art she has raised funds for conservation organisations and delivered drawing and environmental education workshops to 1000's of people across the world. In 2019 she founded Where Did All the Animals Go? Project in partnership with Born Free and in 2021 founded Drawing for the Planet. Explore Jane's art:


We are a global art and environmental education charity with drawing, one of the oldest forms of communication, at its core. Founded by Artist, Jane Lee McCracken, to share her passions for drawing and wildlife, we partner with international wildlife charity Born Free, conservationists, artists, educators and cultural institutions. Through our art, education, exhibition and conservation fundraising projects we give children, communities and wildlife a voice. Watch our video and visit us at:

Support our global projects, help protect wildlife and give the gift of art and wildlife by donating or becoming a member here:

DftP would like to thank Great North Museum: Hancock and participating North East children.