A BISHOPS Castle artist is to carry 10'6" polar bear all the way to Glasgow to highlight concerns over climate change.

Bamber Hawes is to make the odyssey, with 'Clarion', later this year in time to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November.

The 3.2m sculpture of a full size male polar bear will be fixed to a small platform with long poles so it can be carried by two people. It was made with a lightweight frame of thin bamboo poles, with his shape formed from willow withies and heavy duty tissue paper with exterior PVA glue bonding and sealing all together.

At the weekend (January 19) it made an appearance on the Stiperstones, where it was photographed at sunset by Andrew Fusek Peters.

Bamber is a Bighops Castle-based artist and maker and picture framer. Last year he made a 12' (3.6m) high mammoth from brushwood in the town and a 13' (4m) high willow and tissue paper Trojan Horse for an Extinction Rebellion action in London last October.

When asked: 'why a polar bear, and why a pilgrimage?' Bamber replied: "The polar bear is such an iconic animal these days representing the Artic North and the problems of catastrophic ice loss.

"I made him in my spare time in my workshop and then was trying to think of a bold way of using him to promote the aims of Extinction Rebellion to wake people up to the real and pressing danger of allowing world leaders to get away with 'business as usual' rather than taking on the responsibilities of the immediate radical change that is so desperately needed.

"The walk will start in mid-October so Clarion the Bear will arrive in Glasgow for the beginning of COP26. The total distance will be approximately 300 miles on footpaths, canal towpaths and B roads from Bishops Castle through the West of England and the South West of Scotland. I will do the whole journey, but I will need others to join me as Clarion and I progress through the country. I like the idea of a band of people coming together with a purpose. To walk, to talk, to connect with each other and to connect with the landscape by moving through it slowly.

"If people are interested in joining for a single long day's walk please follow me on social media at 'Clarion the Bear' on Instagram and Facebook, where there are details of the route and there will be dates for each leg of the trip.'

These images were taken by conservation photographer Andrew Fusek Peters at the top of the Nipstone rocks on the Stiperstones national nature reserve. Andrew has been working for Natural England and the National Trust for the last five years documenting the flora and fauna of the Stiperstones and Long Mynd, where some species are in dangerous decline and the 70 per cent of the heather was recently lost due to climate change (National Trust figures). Andrew’s work regularly features in the national media.