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A call for artists to create a piece of art for popular nature reserve

Last modified: 15 August 2012

Conwy RSPB reserve, close up of entrance sign

Image: Ben Hall

RSPB Conwy nature reserve is calling on artists based in Wales. A unique tender opportunity is now being offered to create an eye-catching piece of art to be displayed at the entrance of the RSPB reserve. Supported by Communities and Nature (CAN), a strategic project led by Countryside Council for Wales, this art commission is part of Conwy Connections - an initiative with the aim of enhancing RSPB Conwy for people and nature.

The commission invites artists to create an artwork for display adjacent to the roundabout at Junction 18 of the A55, near Llandudno Junction, North Wales. The piece should create a sense of arrival to highlight the reserve presence, without distracting drivers as they drive past.

According to Julian Hughes, RSPB Conwy Reserve Manager, “The main access to the reserve is by road, immediately off the A55. However, the site is screened from the trunk road and the busy junction. An artwork is being commissioned to make a statement of the reserve’s presence and convey to visitors that there is a place of interest beyond.”
The contract will be in two parts: a detailed design and, if approved, the creation and delivery of the artwork to that specification - the artist will be responsible for both parts.
Julian Hughes added, “The subject and style is to be proposed by artist, but we do favour a design that reflects wildlife of the reserve. It can be inspired by any species, not necessarily just birds. The materials also should reflect the values of RSPB as an environmental organisation.”

The value of this art commission is £6,000. All artists intending on submitting designs must register with Closing dates for design submission is 30 September 2012. The preferred design will be chosen by RSPB and North Wales Trunk Roads Agency by 8 October 2012. If you’d like to request a full commission brief, please email
RSPB would like to thank North Wales Trunk Agency for agreeing on the artwork to be displayed in this location.

The Conwy Connections initiative also includes several other elements including an outdoor meeting place with elevated views across the reserve and beyond to the Conwy Valley, picnic area, solar thermal installation, an improved car park a nature observatory built out of straw bale and much, much more, all in aid of improving the connection between people and wildlife. This project will provide exciting new opportunities for visitors enhancing the space for everyone, throughout the year.

Conwy receives up to 90,000 visitors every year, and is a well established attraction for tourists to North Wales. The support offered by CAN will help RPSB increase visitors to the site, which in turn should increase visitor spending in the surrounding area.

CAN Assistant Project Officer, Charlotte Barnet said: “This new artwork is an exciting way to highlight the entrance to RSPB Conwy and will attract more people to stop and explore this wonderful site. 

Conwy Connections is an initiative part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and is a component element of the Countryside Council for Wales' Communities and Nature strategic project.

RSPB Cymru would like to thank those whose donations support RSPB Conwy nature reserve and visitor facilities, including Crown Estate, Cemlyn Jones Trust, Environment Wales, Conwy Town Council and the RSPB Conwy Support Group. RSPB Cymru is still raising funds for Conwy Connections. If you'd like to take part in fundraising, have an interest in volunteering for RSPB Conwy, or would like to get involved in this project, do get in touch: or visit

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