Rainbow Trails Are Popping Up Everywhere. Here’s The Story Behind Them

Kezia Roberts from Leeds explains the trend that's making the nation's lockdown that little bit more colourful.

Whatever the weather, be sure to look out for a rainbow on your government-sanctioned walk, run or cycle today.

Families across the UK have been creating these gloriously technicolour artworks for their windows or driveways to lift the spirits of those passing by.

The trend appears to have been started by a group of mums in Bari, Italy, but Kezia Roberts, 42, from Horsforth, Leeds, was one of the first to bring this cheery idea to the UK which she has called ‘Chase the Rainbow’.

Roberts, who previously organised art walks around her local town, was inspired to kickstart the venture in her area after hearing about the mums in Italy and thinking the rainbows were a “beautiful example of trying to bring everybody together as a community”.

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She posted the idea on Facebook and says that people in her area “didn’t need much persuading” to get on board. ”[They’re] making the kids happy and making the adults happy as well, just so they’ve got something to view when they’re doing that walk around,” Roberts tells HuffPost UK.

The trend has quickly spread across the UK, with social media transformed by the colourful images – check out the hashtag #rainbowtrail for some of the latest examples. Some households have painted rainbow posters, while others have given their front drives a makeover with chalk on the ground.

Much to Roberts’ surprise, certain pcarticipants have gone further by painting their windows – or even walls.

“I thought that was quite a commitment!” she laughs.

Whatever way people are choosing to get involved, Roberts is pleased the rainbows are being created – and enjoyed – by all ages.

“Everybody wants to get involved, which is amazing,” she says. “I didn’t want just children to be involved. This is for people who are self-isolating and vulnerable, as well. I wanted everybody to get involved and they have done wholeheartedly. It’s a lovely thing to be part of.”

Lucy and Ellie Cardwell

Although Roberts has been enjoying the artwork via social media, she’s yet to see any of her efforts in person – and is now “counting down the days” until she can. “I haven’t been able to get out yet because I’m self-isolating myself,” she says.

“So I’m looking forward immensely to walking around and just seeing everybody’s rainbows up in the window.”

It was reported that the new NHS Nightingale Hospital, London – set up in the Excel Centre to treat the rising number of cases in the capital – was also inviting the public to send in their rainbow pictures to brighten up its makeshift wards.

However, the Facebook page soliciting the pictures was later revealed to be fake, with the hospital’s official Twitter account tweeting: “please don’t send them in the post”.

“We’re working on a way to receive them,” the hospital said, “but for now please share using #RainbowsforNightingale.”