New craze is bringing out a creative flair

Rocks painted by Lisa Wyllie and her daughter Ruby. By Lee Hellwing
Rocks painted by Lisa Wyllie and her daughter Ruby. By Lee Hellwing
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Move over fidget spinners - a new craze has hit Stamford which is bringing out people’s creative flair- painting rocks and hiding them for others to find.

The trend first started in America and now groups have sprung-up around the country, including the charming historic town.

Reporter Brendan McFadden in the graveyard of St Michael's Church in Stamford with the painted rock he found. By Lee Hellwing.

Reporter Brendan McFadden in the graveyard of St Michael's Church in Stamford with the painted rock he found. By Lee Hellwing.

The quirky rocks have been found everywhere from Morrisons car park to Stamford Garden Centre and one was even found by Mercury reporter Brendan McFadden on a headstone in the grounds of St Michael’s Church, off the High Street.

Finders are asked to either keep their rock or share pictures of it on the Stamford Rocks Facebook group page.

Lisa Wyllie, 36, decided to bring the idea to the town after discovering a rock painted by a member of a group in Beverley, Yorkshire, while out walking in Derwent Water in the Lake District, about a month ago

Some crazes like the Pokemon Go phenomenon took over the world last summer and then faded into, it seems, obscurity, but Lisa believes this one has more longevity.

Rocks painted by Lisa Wyllie. By Lee Hellwing

Rocks painted by Lisa Wyllie. By Lee Hellwing

“Even in the winter you can hide them in supermarkets. It is something you can do inside or outside,” she said.

Lisa jokes that unlike Pokemon Go there is less chance of bumping into things when taking part in the rock activity.

She said: “You do not have to stare at a phone when you are doing it, you could be sat a home.

“I think it is the new fidget spinners but it is a bit more artistic.

“It is a nice way for children and adults to be artistic, it is something different.

“I think it is nice for people who have painted them to see them travelling around.”

After Lisa, who is a dog walker, returned from the Lake District around three weeks ago, her friend Rachael Mclntyre, the director of children’s and youth ministry at St George’s Church, Stamford, set up the Facebook group and the pair have been busily encouraging people to get involved since.

Lisa, who is married to Jon, spends many of her evenings sprucing up rocks with Ruby, eight, who has even hidden some of her designs at Malcolm Sargent Primary School which she attends.

“It is a nice thing to do after school, after she has finished her school work, she will say ‘can we paint some rocks?’.

“From my own experience, I enjoying how detailed I can get the pictures on them,” she said.

The Facebook page for Stamford Rocks already has more than 100 members.

Those taking part write a message advising the finder to ‘keep or rehide’.

Lisa said those who wish to take part in the activity just need to ensure they coat their rock with a “weather-proof gloss” in order to prevent the designs from “fading away”.

For more visit www.facebook.com and search for the Stamford Rocks page.

How to get involved

1. Get yourself some rocks or pebbles, paints and permanent markers

2. Paint any design you wish on it.

3. Buy some weather-proof gloss to coat your creation

4. Hide your designed rock in a populated area in Stamford where you think it will be found

5. Have fun!