Lianne shares this latest news from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Ed
Street artist ATM took inspiration from the lush seagrass meadows off Ryde for his latest wildlife portrait, a cuttlefish.
A visit to Ryde at low tide with Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust gave ATM the chance to see important local habitats first hand, ahead of painting his cuttlefish portrait over the Solent at Portsmouth City Museum. Among the species he saw on Ryde’s mudflats and under the pier included hermit crabs, snakelocks and dahlia anemones, as well as ‘cuttlebones’.
Home to a mass of wildlife
During the spring cuttlefish swim to shallower waters like those in the Solent to breed, often in fragile underwater meadows of sea grass.
These sea grass beds are also home to seahorses and many species of juvenile fish, and are the focus of local campaigns to secure better protection for marine habitats and species.
ATM’s painting now decorates a Portsmouth City Museum building, and was commissioned by The Wildlife Trusts to mark the start of their National Marine Week celebrations. Over the coming days local Wildlife Trusts are organising events and campaigns, and people are being encouraged to take pledges to protect our marine environment.
There are a number of Wildlife Trust events coming up on the Island in the next few weeks giving people the chance to see the diversity of local marine wildlife for themselves:
Compton Shoresearch – 20th August, 2pm
Thorness Bay Shoresearch – 22nd August, 3:45pm
More information on these and other upcoming coastal events can be found on the Website
Inspiring people to learn more
Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust also hopes ATM’s visit to the Solent and his new portrait will inspire local people to learn more about the marine life in our local seas, and get involved in the Wildlife Trust’s upcoming Secrets of the Solent project.
The Wildlife Trust is fundraising to unlock £640,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to continue their work over the next few years; every £1 raised unlocks an additional £9.85.
Owain Masters, Community Engagement Officer at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said:
“Ryde is a wonderful spot to explore our local marine wildlife, and to see first-hand the lush green seagrass meadows that make the Solent so special. So many people don’t know about the amazing sea life on our doorstep, and we’re looking forward to bringing the secrets of our Solent’s wildlife to communities up and down our coastlines.”
Artist ATM said:
“Cuttlefish are masters of disguise, changing colour and skin patterns.
“As an artist I find them fascinating, they’re like living palettes of colour, and show that the waters around our coast are teeming with life as extraordinary as any found in tropical seas.”
Images: © Paul Gonella – The Wildlife Trusts