Guernsey Press

Parade puffins officially unveiled at Government House

A 'CIRCUS' of puffins will take flight to their new perches over the next few days, after their official unveiling at Government House.

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Government House hosted a reception for the staff of Autism Guernsey and GSPCA to celebrate the launch of the Puffin Parade. GSPCA patron Lt-Governor Richard Cripwell and Autism Guernsey patron Louise Cripwell unveiled the puffin ‘Barbeau’, sponsored by Sovereign Guernsey, and painted by James Colmer. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31954044)

Decorated by schools, businesses, and charities as well as professional artists, the Puffin Parade is the centrepiece of this year’s joint fundraising initiative between Autism Guernsey and the GSPCA.

Lt-Governor Richard Lt General Cripwell and his wife Louise hosted the event, attended by staff from the two charities, and were given the honour of unveiling one of the magnificently painted sculptures.

Barbeau, which is going on display at the La Barbarie Hotel, painted by local artist James Colmer, was plucked from the improbability of puffins to represent the parade.

‘Trying to choose a representative puffin was really difficult, as they are all fantastic, there was no particular reason for choosing that one,’ said GSPCA manager Steve Byrne.

‘The artist was actually there, and he was amazed to see his puffin unveiled.’

Mr Byrne thanked the Lt-Governor, who is GSPCA patron, and Mrs Cripwell, patron of Autism Guernsey, for hosting the event.

‘It was lovely for Mrs Cripwell to host the evening,’ he said.

‘She was so entertaining and funny, and knew a huge amount about real puffins.’

The charities had chosen this time of year to unveil the puffins as it coincides with the start of puffins’ breeding season.

‘As our puffins take flight, the real ones will be arriving on Herm and Sark.’

The first four puffins have already been delivered to their locations and the majority will be on display by the end of the weekend.

They will remain in position until the end of August before being auctioned in September to raise funds for Autism Guernsey and the GSPCA.

The two charities are launching an app with a map and games to help islanders find all the birds dotted around the island, which should be available very soon.

‘There isn’t a parish without a puffin, they will be all over the island from St Peter Port to Pembroke,' said Mr Byrne.

‘I want to thank everyone involved. It’s been a huge undertaking. All the volunteers have worked incredibly hard.'

The puffins are waterproofed, lacquered and have a special UV coat, and Mr Byrne said 'hopefully they will be with us for many years to come.’

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