Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Smithy's Hide Migrates to the Capital for Ghostly Art Festival; Going to London Is a Wonderful Journey for the Hide. It Is Going to Be fascinatingWesley Davies

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Smithy's Hide Migrates to the Capital for Ghostly Art Festival; Going to London Is a Wonderful Journey for the Hide. It Is Going to Be fascinatingWesley Davies

Article excerpt

Byline: TONY HENDERSON

AFTER months of relative solitude on an island off Northumberland, Wesley Davies has just set off for London.

He is delivering a hide with character, which shelters wardens on the RSPB reserve of Coquet Island off Amble during 24-hour watches to guard against egg thieves.

The hide, which will be re-erected as part of a London festival, mimics the appearance of the lighthouse on Coquet Island.

It was made by award-winning blacksmith Stephen Lunn, from Red Row, in Northumberland.

The 6ft-by-6ft structure includes a metal wood-burning stove in the shape of a clam shell, also made by Stephen, who is a volunteer on the island.

It replaced a stove in the shape of a puffin, called the puffin puffin.

Since it was built in 2005, the hide has gathered eccentricities, such as a lighthouse top and a glass disco ball.

This reflects the light at dusk and dawn to signal the start and end of the overnight watching shifts.

An old paraffin lamp completes the decor.

The 24-hour watches during the seabird breeding season are necessary because the island is home to the only roseate tern colony in the UK.

The hide, which was erected after roseate eggs were stolen nine years ago, is taken down in the autumn and stored until next spring.

But for 11 days it will be a feature of the Migration Festival at The Forge arts and music venue in Camden, London.

One of the festival events will see 11 artists producing work on the theme of extinct birds.

Visitors will be invited to sit in the hide to observe the artists as they create in the Ghosts of Gone Birds event. Wesley, assistant warden on Coquet Island, said: "What began life as a basic shelter has gradually developed its own unique character and evolved into a work of art. I think it will look very at home in the Forge. …

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