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Peregrine falcons filmed by artist to star on TV

A new painting inspired by seeing the world’s fastest birds nesting on an industrial chemical plant on the banks of the Humber estuary gone on show at a gallery in Thixendale.

The artwork by Robert E Fuller follows a year of studying a pair of peregrine falcons at Salt End Chemicals Park in Hull.

Currently on show at the artist’s gallery in Thixendale, North Yorkshire, it is one of three inspired by the experience of watching the falcons from the moment their chicks first hatched to their first faltering flights over the industrial park on the banks of the Humber estuary.

The artist, who is one of a handful of people in the UK licenced to film peregrines at their nest, was given exclusive access to watch the birds inside the site.

“A chemical plant is the last place you can imagine wildlife thriving. There is nothing but cement and steel as far as you can see,” he said. “It’s also noisy and the air is heavy with the smell of industry. And yet these peregrines have brought up generations of chicks here.”

The peregrine nest is located high on a milling building belonging to Vivergo Fuels, a bioethanol plant inside the 370-acre industrial site. Staff at the site have made a purpose-built nest box for the protected birds and have been monitoring their progress with the support of conservationists from Spurn Bird Observatory and the RSPB.

“It is so heartening to see industry embrace conservation in this way. I hope the birds will be safe in the future,” said Mr Fuller.

Paul Rees, health and safety manager at Vivergo, said the future of the peregrines is secure, despite the news this week that the bio-fuel plant is to close.

The story of how the world’s fastest bird chose to nest in the unlikely setting of an industrial chemical plant in Hull will feature on BBC1’s Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire at 7.30pm on Monday 17th September.