Mural calls for world leaders to save endangered carder bee

Railway arch mural at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park

Railway arch mural at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park - Credit: Ewelina Ruminska

A street mural showing one of Britain's "species at risk” has been unveiled in Mile End ahead of the UN’s Climate Change conference in Glasgow on Sunday (October 31).   

It aims to make world leaders aware of endangered species like the brown-banded carder bee once common in east London that pollinates flowers. 

The mural at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park was designed by 24-year-old Mya Subong as one of seven chosen to be painted by street artists in cities across Britain for the 2021 Grantham Climate art prize.

Mya's original design to save brown-banded carder bees 

Mya's original design to save brown-banded carder bees - Credit: Gerry Tissier

“The carder bee helps keep wildlife alive,” Mya explained. “It is dedicated to helping others by pollinating plants, wild flowers and food crops, despite destruction of their homes. The carder is part of the city — not just a bee." 

Her mural is on a railway arch at the southern edge of the cemetery where carder bees can be found, despite shortage of hedgerows.  

It has been painted by street artist Michelle Meola, who hopes anyone walking by "will want to learn more about species at risk and what to do to protect them”. 

Images of the mural and the other six are being displayed at the COP26 conference for world leaders.

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