Life-size bronze puffins made by a sculptor have been installed on the NorthLink ferries Hrossey and Hjaltland as part of a project to highlight the work of the conservation charity Scottish Wildlife Trust.
The artworks will be there for passengers to see on the vessels during the winter months before one is auctioned off to raise funds for the trust, which aims to protect Scotland’s wildlife for the future.
The idea was hatched by sculptor Eddie Hallam, from Derbyshire, who spends time on Scottish islands researching and sketching seabirds before making his bronze pieces. It won support from the trust, the ferry company, the People’s Postcode Lottery and VisitScotland.
Eddie said: “My passions for conservation and bronze sculpting inspire me to create life-size models of wildlife which attempt to capture the essence of the amazing animals which surround us and really do them the justice they deserve.
“The Scottish Wildlife Trust strives to protect Scotland’s valuable wildlife and conserve its biodiversity for the future, and I hope the story of the adventures of the puffin sculptures spending winter aboard these NorthLink ferries will provide a way for me to give something back to wildlife and contribute to the work of the charity.
“The time the puffin sculptures spend at sea will radically change their appearance to give us a small insight into what these small, hardy creatures endure on the open waters.”
Peter Hutchinson from NorthLink Ferries said: “Eddie’s bronze puffin is a fantastic piece of work and we jumped at the chance to add an interesting feature to the MV Hrossey. In fact, we asked Eddie to provide us with a second puffin from his collection for … the MV Hjaltland, to ensure that all our passengers to Orkney and Shetland would see a puffin aboard. This second puffin will be returned to Eddie at the end of winter.
Glenn Campbell from the Scottish Wildlife Trust said: “Eddie’s offer to donate such a spectacular work of art to the Scottish Wildlife Trust is exceedingly generous and provides an example of his admirable dedication to conservation and passion for wildlife.”
A competition is to be held to name the sculpture on the Hrossey, with the winners receving a family holiday in Orkney.