A mural depicting a variety of freshwater species has been created at Palmers Green Station in London. From street artist ATM it has been inspired by the nearby New River. The idea was to draw attention to the vast array of life which make up a healthy freshwater habitat.
From left to right the mural is a representation of the interconnectness of the natural world. All of the species within the mural could be present within an environment such as the New River. Shown within the mural are the orange-striped stonefly; caddis fly; mayfly; grey wagtail; smooth newt; cyclops copepod; grass snake; daphnia water flea with eggs; gammarus freshwater shrimp; water shrew; pike; three-spined stickleback; banded demoiselle damselfly and a kingfisher.
Wildlife in the New River
The New River was opened in 1613. An artificial waterway. The intention was to channel water from springs in Hertfordshire towards the heart of London. Now it runs from the Gauge House on the River Lea between the villages of Ware and Hertford. From there it makes it’s way down through Enfield and into Palmers Green. Eventually finishing at the East Reservoir in Stoke Newington. At one point it did continue into Clerkenwell. It once ended at a place called ‘New River Head‘ near Sadlers Wells which is still there.
ATM is an artist well known for his depiction of the natural world. He will often create street art which references the bio-diversity of the area he is in. His art is meant to get people thinking about the natural world close to their homes. The mural at Palmers Green station was also supported by the local community. Palmers Green Action Team and Great Northern Rail were the ones who originally commissioned the piece.
The New River is a man made channel. Over the years it’s grown significantly. First taking around 10 megalitres a day originally from the springs around the village of Chadwell. This has grown to around 220 megalitres now. It’s growth has meant that over time the course has changed a little. It’s also widened and deepened. Ecologically it’s provided a new source for wildlife and the new river path can be special place to walk along.
“Healthy freshwater habitats contain a huge diversity of complex and interdependent life” says ATM. Explaining that he could have created ten different versions of the same painting. “There are so many fascinating creatures that inhabit these places, from the microscopic, to invertebrates and their larvae, fish, amphibians, mammals and birds”. Perhaps visitors to the mural might be tempted to go see if they can spot any of the real thing nearby.
New River Mural Gallery at Palmers Green Station
For more articles featuring ATM or Environmental Art. Have a look at: