The craze sees people paint messages and drawings on small rocks and hide them in public spaces for other people to find. Karen Nelson, from Whatley, set-up the Calderdale Rocks Facebook group after discovering the phenomenon on holiday. The Calderdale group now has around 5,500 members, and is one of at least 50 across the country.
“I just wanted to spread some happiness and help people’s well-being.
“When I set-up the group in August it was quite a slow process to begin with, but we had a big event at Shibden Hall in March and it ended up causing massive traffic jams because there were so many people there. It went bananas.
“It’s for children and adults, and it gets people out and about. And if it’s raining, you can stay indoors and paint them. One member has learning difficulties and they’re usually on their computer all day, but this gets them out and gives them something to focus on.”
Karen says there have been reports of a local garden centre putting up their prices for small stones and rocks due to demand.
“I think it will be bigger as the year goes on,” she added. “It’s 2018’s thing. It’s about spreading nice messages that might help someone having a bad day. It can also help people develop their artistic skills, although what I like about it is that you can draw anything. I particularly like the childrens’ designs because they show the way they think, which is so different to adults.
“I like the ones that give nice messages and make people smile - that’s what it’s about.”
Calderdale Rocks, together with other UK groups, are creating painted bee rocks in memory of the Manchester terror attack. To take part, paint a bee on a pebble or rock with the hashtag #lovemcr or #calderdalerocks and drop it off at Loafers in the Piece Hall, Happy Days Cycles in Sowerby Bridge, Hebden Bridge Town Hall or the Willow Tree Cafe. They will then be taken to Manchester to mark the anniversary.
Send us photos of your painted rocks to [email protected] or via Twitter or Facebook.