Artists spray message on old East End railway arches to save endangered species

Endangered Arctic polar bear from Man's global warming {photos: Steve Poston]

Endangered Arctic polar bear from Man's global warming {photos: Steve Poston] - Credit: Archant

They may just look like old railway arches—but street artists are using them to paint a message about the world’s endangered animals.

Murals being painted on the arches under the Fenchurch Street main-line railway

Murals being painted on the arches under the Fenchurch Street main-line railway - Credit: Archant

Murals were created with spray paint by 13 of Britain’s top street artists along the main line Fenchurch Street-to-Southend railway in London’s East End.

The artists met on Sunday, led by renowned Louis Masai and Charlotte Webster from Human Nature environmental art platform.

They took on a 400ft stretch of brick arches running through Bow Common, along Ackroid Drive off Burdett Road, painting 12 murals as trains roared overhead, to put their message across and to create a miniature sculpture trail.

Louis Masai finishes off his mural of endangered whale

Louis Masai finishes off his mural of endangered whale - Credit: Archant

The murals depict a curlew, orangutan, rhino, blue whale, bateleur, Polar bear, grey-breasted parakeet, Boeseman’s rainbow fish, hummingbirds, elephant, tiger, bees and a coral reef.


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As much as two-thirds of all species could be near extinction by the end of the century.

But some are now rising in population due to increasing concern about the crisis.

Andy Council with his endangered elephant

Andy Council with his endangered elephant - Credit: Archant

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Conservation efforts include protecting natural habitats and preventing destructive practices such as illegal hunting.

There are more than 23,000 threatened species listed as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable, according to the International Union of Conservation of Nature.

But if you add those already extinct, that’s another thousand, the conservationists point out.

Spraying one endangered species on each arch, it has been worked out, would take a row of railway arches stretching from east London all the way to Cardiff.

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