Bird Bench

The Bird Bench has been installed on the RSPB Marshside site on a lovely section of the coastal path that overlooks the wetlands.

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The Bench, hewn from a tree trunk by Phill Gregson, has individual artworks  embedded in resin in the wood.

We worked with the Natural Alternatives team based at Ainsdale to create the artwork using the ancient photographic process of Cyanotypes.



Through this workshop they created the delicate blue and white images of some of the birds that can typically be seen from the Bird Bench location.


The bird species used in the designs were suggested by Tony Baker, RSPB warden who came to the opening to see the results


We brought the bench on site and then positioned it to get the best view of the wetlands

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and for the team to test it out for comfort!

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Thanks to Tony Baker and United Utilities for enabling the choice of this site and to all at Natural Alternatives.



Bird Bench

We had a very creative day with Natural Alternatives who are an essential and hard working voluntary part of the wider team that keeps the Sefton Coastal Path going and in good repair.

We used  the Cyanotype process for the Bird Bench – a perfect  link in colour and images for this sculpture.  This is an alternative photographic process invented by John Hershcel in 1842 and used in the 19C to record plant specimens. The group explored the process using feathers and images of birds to celebrate  Marshside RSPB where the Coastal Path starts.




Two of the group demonstrating the colour of the paper to start with – the Bockingford watercolour paper has been painted with a light sensitive solution that is green until it is exposed to ultra violet light.

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When the paper is rinsed in tap water, the colour changes to a beautiful deep blue, leaving behind a perfect image of whatever was placed on the green sheet – in this case feathers.

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The images created celebrates some of the species of birds that can be seen at Marshside RSPB: avocets; curlew; pink footed geese; skylarks among others. The group also placed some plants and leaves around the images, making some beautiful scenes.




The group worked hard all day and we had good fun with the process with lovely pieces to put in the Bench – thank you Natural Alternatives!!