Spot tiny art 'gems' along The Parkland Walk

Chewing gum artist Ben Wilson on the Parkland Walk

'Chewing gum' artist Ben Wilson on the Parkland Walk - Credit: Kerri Moore

A trail of miniature bats, butterflies and beetles has been created by "chewing gum" artist Ben Wilson along the Parkland Walk.

The project was conceived pre-Covid to encourage walkers along the 4km route to look more closely at their surroundings.

Muswell Hill-based Wilson - known for his brightly-coloured artworks on pavement chewing gum - is well along with the 17 miniature artworks thanks to a successful £1500 crowdfunding campaign by The Friends of Parkland Walk.

The window for donations closes on January 22 and Friends Chair Cathy Meeus said additional funds would pay for upkeep of the tiny artworks on marker posts along the walk.

"Anything in the open air needs maintenance so we will use the money to clean replace or repair these little gems," she said.

One of Ben Wilson's miniature artworks along The Parkland Walk

One of Ben Wilson's miniature artworks along The Parkland Walk - Credit: Simon Olley


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"The trail is not a response to the pandemic but it's obviously a great way for people to see art while galleries are closed. The Parkland Walk is heavily used at the moment for daily exercise, walking running or cycling, so it may be difficult to go slowly and look for these little medallions, but we hope it's something that families can do together in future to look more closely at their environment.

One of Ben Wilson's miniature artworks along The Parkland Walk

One of Ben Wilson's miniature artworks along The Parkland Walk - Credit: Simon Olley

"The walk is a nature reserve so there are animals and plants as well as train themed images that reflect the history of the area. The artist was very keen and really threw himself into it. People come and talk to him while he's working and he really feeds off their input."

'Chewing gum' artist Ben Wilson painting the artworks on The Parkland Walk

'Chewing gum' artist Ben Wilson painting the artworks on The Parkland Walk - Credit: Kerri Moore

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The Parkland Walk runs from Muswell Hill through Highgate to Finsbury Park along the former Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace railway line. The Friends was formed in the late 80s to fight off plans for a motorway development, but in recent years has worked to protect the nature reserve as a public amenity.

Volunteers help with everything from litter picking to vegetation maintenance and creating an educational wildlife trail along the Highgate section.

"It is protected as designated Open Metropolitan Land but we have to be vigilant against people dumping waste or encroachment from extending their gardens to poach a few extra feet," added Meeus.

A map of the walk and trail can be found https://www.parkland-walk.org.uk/

Or donate to the crowdfunder at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-parkland-walk-art-trail

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