A FLOCK of celebrities has given its weight to a national campaign aimed at raising awareness of the RSPB.
Stars from the worlds of sport, stage and screen have decorated 15 giant sized bird boxes currently on show at intu Metrocentre.
And Sunderland architect and TV presenter George Clarke is among those who have given their backing to The Big Birdhouse Tour, which runs until 16 October.
George and celebrities such as Steve Backshall, Jo Whiley, Vic Reeves and Rebecca Adlington have each contributed a design, to create a fun, informative and interactive display.
Called House of Flight, George’s birdhouse takes its design inspiration from butterflies which, “I’ve loved from a really young age,” he said.
“The way they transform from the humble caterpillar to the magical butterfly is still incredible to me – so much so that I recently built a butterfly house for my kids.
“The butterflies on this birdhouse are images of butterflies I have I my own home – and which I wanted to share with everyone who comes to see such a worthwhile initiative.”
Schoolchildren from Barmston Village Primary School, Washington, also visited the tour after designing their own birdhouse posters to display in the centre to promote giving nature a home.
Elizabeth Carr, teacher at Barmston Village Primary School said, “It’s been a brilliant experience for the children to work alongside intu and the RSPB on such a fantastic tour. The children have been incredibly excited to see their work on display at intu Metrocentre for such a great cause.
“A particular favourite with the children had to be George Clarke’s butterfly birdhouse. They loved having their work exhibited alongside such a well-known name from their hometown of Washington.”
The 16-month tour, created by intu, is a nationwide celebration of British wildlife to inspire everyone to give nature a home and raise money for and awareness of the work of the RSPB, Europe’s largest nature conservation charity.
Along with the chance to explore the birdhouses, shoppers can snap up a range of RSPB bird boxes and badges, while children can take part in a special hide and seek trail.
Eight small birdhouses are hidden throughout the centre and, if they spot them all and solve a puzzle, they will each be given a certificate as a memento of the event.
In 2013, the State of Nature report highlighted that 60 per cent of UK wildlife has declined over recent decades.
RSPB Bird boxes and pin badges are on sale at guest service desks and intu guest services in lower blue mall, along with free Trail sheets.
For more information visit www.intu.co.uk/metrocentre