Ghost whale at Grosvenor Museum highlights plight facing sea-life

The Ghost Whale at the Grosvenor Museum

Staff at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester have worked with members of the public to build a ghost whale out of recycled material to highlight the climate crisis affecting nature and wildlife globally.

The 2.5 metre long structure, which featured on ITV news recently, has been created from a willow frame and recycled materials such as milk bottles, paper and re-used bubble wrap, and is hung in the museum’s entrance for visitors to see.

Members of the public have had their input into the project, with visitors attending a recent drop-in family activity writing their climate change pledges on to the recyclable plastic milk bottles collected by museum and Council staff.

The climate change pledges made highlight the actions that people can take to do their bit to help the environment. Pledges included: ‘Always recycle our cans, plastic, paper’, ‘Turn lights off’ and ‘Buy less clothes, re-use and re-wear’.

Lucy Ashdown, Interpretation Development Officer at the museum, explains how the team were inspired to build the whale: “The whale is formed mainly of white material giving it the appearance of a ghost. It was inspired by a recent Nature and Climate Change exhibition at the museum which explored how nature is affected by climate change and also by the UN’s climate change conference, COP26, which is highlighting the climate and nature emergencies facing the world.

“Many unrecycled and unrecyclable plastics in our oceans are harming sea-life; if this continues, in time all we might have left of whales are their ghosts.”

The museum team have also incorporated environmental messages into the displays in the museums Natural History Gallery, some of these show the harmful netting or plastic that is killing the birds that are featured in the gallery. To help visitors understand the extent of the problem, the birds and mammals in the gallery have also been labelled with a traffic light system – with red showing animals highly at risk and requiring urgent action; orange for at risk and green for not at risk.

To find out more about the Grosvenor Museum’s exhibitions and opening times visit:

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