Why a huge red kite sculpture has landed outside Cardiff Castle

Red Kite Sculpture outside Cardiff Castle
The sculpture is made entirely from eco-friendly resources

A huge sculpture of a Welsh bird has appeared outside Cardiff Castle.

The red kite sculpture, made from eco-friendly resources, is part of a campaign by RSPB Cymru calling for a greener future for Wales.

The charity said the bird was chosen to symbolise the revival of one of Wales' most notable and loved birds.

Despite the bird being prominent in the UK for centuries, hunting led to a decline in numbers. However in Wales, over the past 30 years, there has been a huge increase in numbers. The RSPB said this represents a "beacon of hope" that the natural world can be revived.

RSPB are calling for the next Welsh Government to implement a "green recovery" to tackle the nature and climate emergency.

It will feature an augmented reality projection which will light up the red kite and give the illusion of flight. Credit: RSPB Cymru

The sculpture was designed and built by North Wales-based artist Sarah Wardlaw who said she is "delighted" to have been commissioned to create the work. She said, ‘’The red kite is a phenomenal conservation success story in Wales, but a stark reminder of just how fragile life is and why we should cherish it.

“With this commission, I am using a combination of traditional blacksmithing with the use of augmented reality to give the illusion of flight or existence of spirit. The principle of flight, navigation, and the magic of altitude is something to aspire."

"As an artist, I believe we can collectively help prevent extinction and protect wildlife if we use our individual stories and give our imagination the freedom to unfold and be limitless. If species die, our dreams die with them.’’

The unveiling of the sculpture and launch of RSPB Cymru's new campaign calls for the next Welsh Government to take action and introduce a plan that will benefit people and the planet.

This could involve better access to nature for the public to help improve public health and well-being.

The sculpture represents one of our most notable and loved birds in Wales.

The director of RSPB Cymru, Katie-jo Luxton said, “The success of the red kite in Wales is an example of what is possible with the right protection and support put in place.

"Later on this year, two global summits on biodiversity and climate change will take place and the upcoming elections in Wales gives each and every one of us the opportunity to shape the future of nature that we want."

"What better way of showcasing the potential for nature revival than with a beautiful sculpture of the iconic red kite."