Published: 12:19, 13 July 2021
| Updated: 12:20, 13 July 2021
A beloved hand-painted mouse created by an anonymous street artist is set to appear in a new Kent location this summer.
The little mouse started life as a little drawing, created on a wall where an NHS nurse sometimes ate her lunch.
It turned out the artist behind the gesture was none other than the nurse's husband who, having seen her pandemic exhaustion, was keen to cheer up.
Her anonymous creator has since painted her in places around the Isle of Sheppey, where she has become a hit amongst locals who enjoy spotting her.
Like many across the UK this year, she is now set for a "staycation", which will see her popping up around the seaside town of Herne Bay.
Her appearance has been organised by Hello Herne Bay - a group tasked with showcasing, and enticing visitors to the town.
Although Moo Mop's creator has remained anonymous in the media, he has been asked to bring the little mouse across the estuary to help create a tourist trail.
It is hoped that visitors and locals alike will enjoy looking for Moo Mop across Herne Bay.
Cllr Barbara Flack, chair of Canterbury City Council's regeneration committee, said: “Moo Mop has become quite the hit on Sheppey, so we have invited her creator here to show people around Herne Bay.
“She’s such a sweet little character – children have loved her on Sheppey, and we hope she will take people not only to the seafront, but also to lesser-known places too giving the local tourist trail a boost."
She added: “There is so much to see and do in Herne Bay – the seafront really is very wonderful, but there is much more.
"Hopefully, Moo Mop can help people find it in a fun way.
“Herne Bay is looking forward to welcoming ‘staycationers’ who might not have usually chosen Herne Bay as their holiday destination and we hope they will love our attractive seaside town and all the many different things to be found in it.”
Moo Mop’s creator added: “Moo Mop was born organically out of the pandemic. I hadn’t practised art for a long time and the restrictions of lockdown acted like a catalyst to create something positive and get out a bit.
"I was amazed at the reaction she got, so I curated a series of the mini pieces that popped up in several locations on the Isle of Sheppey.
“I thought Moo Mop was due a staycation after all her hard work and, with foreign travel challenges, where better than across the water to sunny Herne Bay?
“It is for the public to ponder how she may have arrived. Maybe via a paper boat, as she appears to have moored up for her first stop at Neptune’s arm in the bay.
“I hope that visitors to Herne Bay across this summer will enjoy seeing Moo Mop on her own Kent staycation.
“Keep an eye out for her on the pier, plus at the Seaside Museum and Wimereux Square too.”
People who see Moo Mop are invited to post photos taken with her on social media, using the hashtags #moomopmouse #HelloHerneBay #MicetoMeetYou