'It has gone beyond our expectations': Beautiful barn owl mural created by street artist ATM
PUBLISHED: 15:47 17 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:47 17 May 2019
It has captured the imagination and is set to provide a welcoming attraction to town.
And as the finishing touches were added to the second in a series of giant wildlife murals, an iconic barn owl has swooped into Lowestoft.
After a marsh harrier became the "talk of the town" as it was unveiled on a wall in Oulton Broad last October, further positive comments have been made as nationally renowned street artist ATM put the finishing touches to the "beautiful" barn owl on a wall at one of the main gateways into town.
Teaming up with Suffolk Wildlife Trust once more to create a giant barn owl mural, it has been unveiled on the side of the Lowestoft Tandoori restaurant at the top of the High Street.
And with further giant murals planned, further areas of Lowestoft are set to be transformed with a series of spectacular wildlife murals as part of the new trail that will run throughout the town, which celebrates Suffolk Wildlife Trust's acquisition of land to extend Carlton Marshes nature reserve.
It comes after Suffolk Wildlife Trust's successful fundraising campaign - which included a £4million award from the Heritage Lottery Fund - as work is under way to create a new nature reserve and visitor centre at Carlton Marshes,
Katy Runacres, wild learning officer at Carlton Marshes for Suffolk Wildlife Trust, has been overseeing the project.
She said: "It has gone beyond our expectations - more so than the marsh harrier.
"It is the second in the series and there has been lots of comments on social media, with the vast majority being really positive."
With the barn owl chosen as they can often be seen flying silently over the marshes at dawn or dusk, barn owls are regularly also spotted at the north Denes area of Lowestoft.
"This wa one of the main reasons why we chose the top end of the High Street," Katy Runacres added.
"The barn owl is oconic to Suffolk, and we have one of the biggest populations of barn owls in the UK her in Suffolk.
"People of all ages recognise the barn owl and with this being situated at the north end of Lowestoft, welcoming people to town at the top of High Street it has been created in a key area."
She added: "ATM has had people who have beeped their horns in cars, vans and lorries to show their support as they've gone past. It welcomes people into Lowestoft and I just think ATM has shown the character of the barn owl so well.
"The blue heritage plaque is still there (on the wall) and this shows the natural and manmade heritage complementing each other."
Admitting he was "thrilled" with the finished design, the street artist said: "Every wall is different (to work on) so the detail, colours, all the shapes make a difference.
"The barn owls have incredibly silky plumage and you can see the blue shadows detailed."
Suffolk Wildlife Trust thanked ATM, the Lowestoft Tandoori restaurant for all their support, as well as the Heritage Lottery Fund, OBS Scaffolding Ltd and the Ivy House Country Hotel in Oulton Broad for putting ATM up during his time in the town.