North York Moors National Park and Forestry England join forces to save the turtle dove

Former Eastender's star Sophie Thompson has created a piece using eyeliner and eye shadow
Former Eastender's star Sophie Thompson has created a piece using eyeliner and eye shadow

A silent auction and eBay sale of celebrity ‘doodle a dove’ sketches are being held to raise money for turtle dove conservation

Two different art auctions will be raising money to help save the region’s endangered turtle doves this September, with the creators ranging from celebrated wildlife artists to actors and TV presenters.

Actress Yolanda Kettle has painted two turtle doves.

Actress Yolanda Kettle has painted two turtle doves.

The ‘Saving Turtle Doves’ exhibition opens at Low Dalby courtyard in Dalby Forest and at the Inspired by… gallery at The Moors National Park Centre, Danby, on Thursday 5 September.

On display will be works by some of the UK’s most renowned artists and photographers, including Alan Hunt; widely regarded as one of the best wildlife artists in the world. Each of the 16 confirmed professional artists will have pieces for sale, and have also donated a work of art to be sold in a silent auction, with proceeds going to the North Yorkshire Turtle Dove Project.

Alongside the more traditional exhibition, an online auction will see the sale of more than 25 ‘dove doodles’ created by stars of the screen, including Claudia Winkelman, Ben Kingsley, Jim Broadbent, Chris Packham and Jessica Hynes. Copies of these pieces will be displayed at the Courtyard in Dalby Forest, with the framed originals listed on eBay until the 16th of October.

Petra Young, Funding & Development Manager for Forestry England, said:

Actress Jessica Hynes (formerly Jessica Stevenson) has created this fantastic bird.

Actress Jessica Hynes (formerly Jessica Stevenson) has created this fantastic bird.

“We are excited to receive the support of so many professional artists, as well as from a great number of celebrities. We hope the celebrity doodles really help to inspire and involve the wider public in the plight of this iconic bird.”

The exhibitions and auctions are a collaboration between Forestry England, which celebrates its centenary this September, and the North York Moors National Park Authority.

Richard Baines, from the North Yorkshire Turtle Dove Project said:

“Turtle doves are now critically endangered in the UK. We’re incredibly fortunate that the landscape of the North York Moors provides one of the last remaining strongholds for the species, but it’s vital we continue work to help restore some of the turtle doves’ natural habitat.

“These two exciting auctions not only give members of the public the chance to own some truly superb and unique pieces of art, but also allows them to contribute to the continued survival of a very special bird.”

The Saving Turtle Doves silent auction open at the start of the exhibition on Thursday 5 September, concluding on Sunday 13 October.

To view the celebrity ‘doodle a dove’ sketches, search for Doodle a Dove on eBay.

The North Yorkshire Turtle Dove Project is a partnership project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, North York Moors National Park Authority, Forestry England and Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in partnership with RSPB, Scarborough Borough Council, and North and East Yorkshire Ecological Data Centre. For more information on how you and your community could help please email conservation@northyorkmoors.org.uk.