Artist creates ‘loo with a view’ to protect wildlife
Dale Spridgeon, local democracy reporter
An artist is hoping to help protect wildlife on a Welsh beach after creating a special ‘loo with a view’ at Llandanwg.
Sixty-year-old Carol Beavis has painted images of colourful sea birds on the white washed walls of the ladies’ lavatory next to the beach.
A keen bird watcher and wildlife enthusiast, Carol has lived in the area with her husband Mike for the past six years.
She can be found most days down on the beach, binoculars poised watching birds, like ringed plovers, cormorants and gulls.
Carole often finds herself helping to direct dog walkers and other beach users away from tiny nesting chicks which can be hard to spot amid the sand and vegetation.
She is also regularly seen picking up bags of litter and has painted pebbles from the beach to help raise money for dementia awareness.
Hailing from Belper, in Derbyshire, Carole started the detailed mural for fun and to keep herself active during lockdown.
But she hopes the striking artwork will help alert people to the “variety and beauty” of the birds around the Llandanwg coastline and will encourage wildlife protection.
Over the years, she has worked for organisations such as Coed Lleoli, which helps improve the health and wellbeing of people across Wales through woodland and nature-based activities.
Many years ago, she worked for the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, and for 15 – 20 years, was self-employed as a willow sculptor, organising outdoor arts and crafts and wildlife activities.
Since being badly affected by arthritis, and after undergoing several operations on her hands her paid activities had to be curbed. But now, the grandma and mum of three grown up children, is still able tp paint but at her own pace, and has been gradually adding to the mural.
The council loo is located beside the village’s award winning beach, close to the Cafe Y Maes and near St Tanwg’s church.
As the project nears completion, Carole is now debating starting a new mural in the adjoining gents’ toilet.
But, she quipped: “I am not sure if I will do one in the men’s toilet yet, it would be nice, but it might be a bit tricky having to run in and out to avoid any potential loo users!”
When her arts work is complete it will incorporate nuggets of information in Welsh and English, which she hopes might help gently warn beach users to take care of the wildlife.
Carol said: “It is such a beautiful area, I love walking on the beach and watching the birds.
“The tiny ringed plovers are just so cute, but you have to very careful not to stand on them.
“People don’t realise, they don’t mean to do harm, but they let their dogs run in the nesting season or some don;t realise and step on the chicks.
“You know when you are near a baby plover, because you will hear the parent birds giving off a warning, going pip pip pip…!
“It is sad to think many of our birds are in decline, my grandchildren’s grandchildren will be lucky to see some of the species we can see now, if we are not careful.
“I just wanted to do something positive. I saw the white toilet wall and thought ‘wow, that is a perfect canvas!’
“Rather than someone putting up some stroppy, formal sign saying ‘don’t do this, don’t do that,’, I thought it would be nice, and a gentle way to try and illustrate what wildlife is here, and hopefully people will notice.”
Harlech and Llanbedr Councillor Gwynfor Owen said: “I welcome this initiative by Carole. It is quite a talking point by locals and Visitors alike and has put a smile on so many faces.
“Murals on the outside of buildings are very popular, so why not have work of art in our Public Conveniences?”
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