Giant 3D mural helps bring the magic of wetlands to Ely Cathedral
A 20ft-long interactive mural brought the wetlands to Ely Cathedral.
Visitors flooded in to see the artwork in place last weekend (Saturday, March 4 and Sunday, March 5) during the latest stop of its UK tour to highlight this year’s World Wetland Day theme of wetland restoration.
Commissioned by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), which runs the reserve at Welney, it was originally unveiled in Bristol on February 2.
Members of the public interacted with the mural by standing on the jetty, sitting in the boat or snapping a photo as they plant a shoot in the saltmarsh, symbolising the regeneration of wetlands.
It shows a degraded wetland transforming into a flourishing habitat, filled with thriving wildlife and highlighting the incredible potential of wetlands to capture carbon, clean our water, protect us from flooding, provide a home to wildlife and boost our health and wellbeing.
The artwork, by 3D Joe and Max, is designed to raise awareness of wetland, with 45 per cent of people in the UK unaware of what a wetland is.
WWT campaigns manager Laura Williams said: “Hundreds of people took their photo with the mural on World Wetlands Day, learning more about the amazing powers of wetlands to tackle the nature, biodiversity and health and wellbeing crises and we are very excited to be able to take this on tour to other places – from cathedrals to shopping centres and conferences to visitor centres.”
The stop-off was possible thanks to a collaboration between WWT and the Church Commissioners – members of the Blue Recovery Leaders Group of organisations championing wetlands. The mural will also visit other Church Commissioner sites this month, including the Metrocentre in Newcastle yesterday (Friday, March 10).
The Very Revd Mark Bonney, Dean of Ely, said: “We are delighted to be engaging with the WWT 3D mural. Wetlands are a significant part of the landscape and environment of the area in which the cathedral is situated.
“As together we look to meet the challenges of climate change goals their recovery and sustainability has an important part to play.”
WWT Welney centre manager Leigh Marshall added: “At Welney we witness how vital wetlands are for vulnerable species and human wellbeing. Creating new wetlands like Lady Fen after centuries of wetland loss is essential for wildlife and people, and we know from experience how quickly wetlands can recover when given the chance.”
The UK has lost around 75 per cent of its wetlands in the last 300 years and half the wetlands in Europe have been lost in the same time. The WWT is calling upon government, business and wider society to help restore and create 100,000 hectares of wetlands in the UK to combat the climate, nature and wellbeing crises.
Sign the Wetlands Can! campaign pledge at wwt.org.uk/wetlands-can/.