A YOUNG boy from Old Basing is using his creativity to put smiles on residents’ faces during lockdown.

Six-year-old Archie Haddock recently started painting stones, and has decided to use his creative side to start a community project.

On their regular walks at the Crabtree Plantation, Archie and his mum, Sophie, laid the stones down to start the ‘Crabtree Covid snake’ for people to add to and lay down their own painted stones during lockdown.

“He had seen one similar to it in Yateley,” Sophie explained.

“He has been painting stones and hiding them around Basingstoke for a while so when he said about doing it I thought it was quite sweet.”

Archie and his family live on Dickens Lane, not far from Crabtree, and go walking there regularly, especially during lockdown.

“So many people are going walking at the moment,” said Sophie.

“So Archie said that lots of people will see it there. We started it maybe three or four weeks ago, with just two stones, and it now has around 160 beautifully painted stones.”

Sophie posted the idea on a Facebook group called Basing-stones, encouraging others to get involved and add their stones to the snake.

“So many people have said how lovely it is. It gives them something to get the kids out the house,” she said.

“Archie is really creative. He loves lego, painting, making things from clay.”

Archie, who attends Old Basing Infant School, has painted stones which represent his favourite things, including a ‘Danger Mouse’ themed one, and a Lego head stone.

Through the Facebook group, he is also running a competition over half term, where he will give a prize to the person who paints his favourite stone on the snake.

Sophie added: “It gives them something to focus on. It can be difficult finding stuff they want to do that’s not playing on the Kindle or watching the TV. With this, if I say let’s go for a walk to find some more stones to paint, he’s excited.”

She said that Archie has been so pleased with the reaction.

“In between his school work,at lunch time, we say we’ll go and see the snake. It’s a little break away from school. Everytime we go out, he can’t believe it.

“This is something he can look back on and think, we did this, I started this.”