Giant Lego animals have gone on display at a wetland centre in Co Down, with wildlife enthusiasts hoping they can help to build excitement about nature.
Nine huge creatures – some up to 12 times life size – made entirely from Lego bricks have gone on show at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust’s (WWT) Castle Espie Wetland Centre, near Comber.
The exhibition, the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, has been designed to inspire young people into nature.
Castle Espie warden Kez Armstrong said: “It’s really important to try to inspire kids to get interested in wildlife and especially wildlife that they can find all over the world. At Castle Espie we are really lucky that we have 36 different species of some of the most endangered waterfowl in the world.
“By doing an exhibition like this with Lego bricks, it means that we can inspire children to get closer to nature and build a better future for nature.”
The wetland Lego brick animal trail showcases characters such as Natalie the nene, the world’s rarest goose; Kate the kingfisher; Benedict the Bewick’s swan; and Mac the mallard – all in their natural habitat.
Some 92,400 Lego bricks were used to build all nine animals over 915 hours. Lottie the otter and Bruce the red breasted goose took the longest time to make at 120 hours each.
Sarah Clarke, WWT Castle Espie’s centre manager, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome the new species that have landed.
“They are a really fun way to highlight some of the animals WWT helps to protect such as the iconic nene or our red breasted geese.
“We are using the Lego bricks to inspire the next generation to continue saving threatened wildlife.”
The WWT is one of the UK’s largest and most respected wetland conservation organisations. It was founded in 1946 by Sir Peter Scott and has a network of nine wetland centres across the UK.
The exhibition will run at Castle Espie for five weeks from February 13 to March 20.