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Fuzz called after Sheppey bee mural makes a buzz

A giant bee has been creating a bit of a buzz after appearing on a seawall.

The 12-foot tall colourful mural is the latest work from Sheppey artist Richard Jeferies and marks the start of a Bee Road conservation area.

Sheppey artist Richard Jeferies at work painting a giant bee on the seawall at Barton's Point, Sheerness (32033657)
Sheppey artist Richard Jeferies at work painting a giant bee on the seawall at Barton's Point, Sheerness (32033657)

Mr Jeferies, 55, of James Street, Sheerness, began painting on Tuesday, March 17, but quickly got stung by the Fuzz when it threatened to ground the three-day project after just a few hours.

He said: "I was engrossed in my work when a police patrol car pulled up and an officer told me they had received a report of someone drawing graffiti on the wall.

"Luckily when he saw my permit from Swale council he let me carry on and went away smiling."

Mr Jeferies added: "It's not many graffiti artists who have the name of their business on the side of their car or use ropes and harnesses to get into position."

He was helped to clamber up and down the seawall by volunteers Allanna Devine and Justine Rogers.

Sheppey artist Richard Jeferies at work painting a giant bee on the seawall at Barton's Point, Sheerness (32033652)
Sheppey artist Richard Jeferies at work painting a giant bee on the seawall at Barton's Point, Sheerness (32033652)

The cost of the mural is being met with a Swale council culture grant.

Sheppey's Bee Road along Marine Parade between Barton's Point Coastal Park, Sheerness, and The Leas at Minster is part of an award-winning Making a Buzz for the Coast three-year project run by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

It takes in 135 miles of Kent coastline from Dartford to Deal and was created to save British bumblebees from extinction.

Twenty-two of the UK’s 24 bee species have been recorded in Kent, including five which are very rare.

To help them thrive, 15 Bee Roads (14km) have been introduced and sown with wild flowers.

Bee Road sign along the coast road on the Isle of Sheppey (32037555)
Bee Road sign along the coast road on the Isle of Sheppey (32037555)

Bumblebee Conservation Trust project manager Emma Lansdell said: “The Making a Buzz for the Coast team is doing important work to conserve and promote interest in bumblebees and other wild bees in Kent and beyond."

Courses to help educate children have been held across Sheppey and Sittingbourne.

The scheme is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and backed by Kent County Council, Thanet council, Natural England, the RSPB, Thames Water and the Kent Wildlife Trust.

Mr Jeferies was behind a makeover for the seawall at Beachfields, Sheerness, and repainted a ship's figurehead in Marine Parade.

Read more: All the latest news from Sheppey


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