Shropshire Star

Eye-catching artwork unveiled on Shropshire border nature reserve trail

A new art tail featuring a series of eye-catching sculptures has been unveiled at a beauty spot on the Shropshire/Wales border.

Andrew Howe, from Shrewsbury, with the 'Inclinometer' artwork created by Elizabeth Turner and Keith Ashford

Artists Elizabeth Turner and Keith Ashford created the way markers featuring wood and metal work measuring tools for the Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses National Nature Reserve in the Fenns, near Ellesmere.

The three-mile long trail will remain in place until the end of October and includes installations featuring recordings of wildlife, water and trees, poetry, history and memories of life on and around the peat bog.

Organised by lead artist Andrew Howe, from Shrewsbury, and Kim V. Goldsmith, from Australia, the trail was developed in partnership with Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Natural England with National Lottery arts funding.

Walkers can listen to the audio recordings with headphones via smartphone using the Echoes app.

“The sounds are triggered by participants as they walk through specific locations along the trail,” says Mr Howe.

“We hope to encourage visitors to think about how we value these natural environments.

“The sound trail will connect two internationally significant wetlands by bringing sounds from the Macquarie Marshes, New South Wales, Australia, into the Fenn’s and Whixall Mosses.

“The paths are well marked, level and easy to walk but often wet and boggy so it is recommended to wear wellingtons or sturdy footwear,” he adds.

The project coincides with a public exhibition at Qube Gallery, in Oswestry. Recent work of the artists Kate Johnston, Dr Sue Challis,and from Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Wem Youth Club will be shown in an exhibition at Wem Town Hall in September plus while Australian exhibitions will follow next year.

The project is also supported by the Marches Mosses Boglife Project which has been restoring the Mosses to bring them back to their former glory and to make the sites accessible to visitors from all walks of life.