The Ordsall Festival is always a great day out with dogs shows, street theatre, talent comps, stalls and kids entertainment. This year, to go with all that, there's a definite birdy theme, with Salford Rangers and the RSPB holding stalls, and Birds, Trees and Bees Nature Walks throughout the day to try and spot some wild species.
Ordsall, Salford Quays and the banks of the River Irwell have provided great spotting sites for birds like the Lapwing, Kingfisher, Cormorant, Grey Heron and Mute Swan – and they feathered the inspiration for The Salford Birdman art project, run by Ordsall Community Arts (OCA) which recently won a national Big Draw Award.
The Salford Birdman project consisted of a series of nature walks hosted by Salford University Wildlife and Practical Conservation degree students around Pomona Docks, Peel Park and Ordsall Park, followed by drawing workshops at OCA in Ordsall, the Working Class Movement Library, Higher Broughton Hub and at Emmanuel Church in Langworthy.
The resulting art installation – The Salford Birdman – was displayed at St Philips Church during the recent Secret Gardens Festival and will be on show again in October at the Salford Museum and Art Gallery as part of an exhibition about the Irwell Sculpture Trail.
"This project shows what is possible when really taking a close look at what is on your doorstep" says James Walsh, one of the nature walk hosts for the project "Salford Quays is a Site of Biological Importance and the local community, businesses and authorities should be doing all they can to protect and promote the wildlife and habitats of this area."
Meanwhile, anyone can go bird spotting for themselves at the Ordsall Festival with nature walks setting off at 12:30pm, 2pm and 3:30pm, with James, hopefully on duty as one of the guides…
Saturday 21st July
The Salford Birdman Installation at the Salford Art Gallery and Museum – as part of Journeys, Narratives and Land Marking: A celebration of the Irwell Sculpture Trail October 2012 to February 2013 (full feature to follow)
To see YouTube footage of the installation and birds – click here
Bird photos by Steven Burke
* See also Salford Star story on how there would have been more birds at Salford Quays - except that Peel Holdings scared them off with hawks at the original MediaCityUK site - click here