Ocean Trail fish sculptures to debut at Telford Balloon Fiesta

An Ocean Trail art installation made up of 24 giant fish will debut at the Telford Balloon Fiesta next week before going on display in the Town Park’s Chelsea Gardens.

Ocean Trail fish sculptures to debut at Telford Balloon Fiesta

The art project is a partnership between Telford & Wrekin Council and the British Ironwork Centre to help educate schoolchildren and raise awareness of the need to protect our oceans and marine life from deadly plastics pollution.

Every day, marine ecosystems are threatened by the exposure of harmful chemicals and micro plastics, added to the oceans through human activity.  A shocking eight million metric tons of plastic enter our oceans every year, with 80% of marine pollution coming from land-based activity. 

Cllr Carolyn Healy, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member for climate change, green spaces, natural and historic environment, said: “This has been a brilliant way for our young people to learn about the impact we are having on our oceans. 

“We may live quite far from the sea, but our actions still have an impact on marine life and we need to do something about it. We need to reduce the amount of single-use plastics we use.”

The art installation features 23 giant fish sculptures created by the ironworks centre and decorated by pupils from 23 schools in Telford and Wrekin. The prototype created and decorated by the ironworks centre also joins the shoal, bringing the total number of fish to 24.

Each school has painted and decorated their fish to their own design, creating a colourful trail that will catch the eye of passers-by and help raise awareness of the plight of our oceans and marine life. 

Cllr Healy added: “We declared a climate emergency in 2019 and committed to do all we can to protect our planet including removing the use of single-use plastics by 2023. Projects like this help us to raise awareness of the serious issues we face.  

“I would like to thank the British Ironworks Centre for helping us, they have been brilliant. I would also like to thank the schools and pupils too. The fish are fabulous!”

Clive Knowles, chairman of British Ironworks Centre, said: “What a fabulous opportunity to work with Telford & Wrekin Council and the students and schools within the borough.  The students really have embraced the challenge and have created some incredible works of art. 

“Our next joint project to keep the environmental awareness at the forefront of people’s minds involves giraffes and plastic bottle tops! We’ll be sharing more about this soon.”

See the Ocean Trail at Telford Balloon Fiesta 2021 at Telford Town Park on 27-29 August. From 30 August the fish will be relocated to Chelsea Gardens until the end of September before moving back to the British Ironworks Centre in Oswestry.

Schools taking part in the project were:

1.Apley Wood Primary School

2.Coalbrookdale & Ironbridge CE Primary School

3.Grange Park Primary School

4.Hadley Learning Community Primary

5.Halesfield Day Nursery Centre

6.Hollinswood Primary School and Nursery

7.Ladygrove Primary School & Nursery

8.Lawley Primary School

9.Lilleshall Primary School

10.John Fletcher of Madeley Primary School

11.Millbrook Primary School & Nursery

12.Newport Girls’ High School

13.Newport Infant School

14.Old Park Primary School & Nursery

15.Randlay Primary School & Nursery

16.St Lawrence C of E Primary School

17.St Matthew’s CE (Aided) Primary School and Nursery Centre

18.St Peter's CE Primary & Nursery School

19.Telford Priory School

20.Tibberton CE Primary School

21.Woodlands Primary and Nursery School

22.Wrockwardine Wood Infant School & Nursery

23.Wrockwardine Wood Junior School

Ocean Fish Trail arrives in Chelsea Gardens, its home until the end of September:

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