Big Fish ‘Nellie’ visits Chichester Cathedral

Our big fish, Nellie, is currently visiting the grounds of Chichester Cathedral, raising awareness of the impact of plastic pollution on our oceans and wildlife.

Nellie has been moving around the local area since 2019. It will be in the Cathedral grounds throughout October. It is made from scrap metal, including old trailer parts and metal warehouse clothing cages. The idea is simple – the public fills Nellie up with their used plastic bottles and aluminium cans, illustrating just how many of these disposable items we use and the huge volume of waste we create. Nellie is a simple and visual way to bring home the message that we are filling our oceans and sea life with plastic.  It aims to highlight the huge volume of single-use plastic bottles still in use every day in the UK, estimated at 7.7 billion every year1. Every single day, it’s been estimated that around 16 million plastic bottles in the UK are not recycled, which means they will end up in landfills, incinerators or our natural environment.

Image: (from left to right) Andrea Smith, Carbon Reduction Project Manager (Chichester District Council), Lissie Pollard (the Final Straw Foundation), Canon Precentor, The Reverend Dr Jack Dunn (Chichester Cathedral) and Councillor Penny Plant, Cabinet Member for Environment and Chichester Contract Services

The Cathedral’s Canon Precentor, The Reverend Dr Jack Dunn, said: “We are delighted to be working with the District Council, and the Final Straw Foundation, once again – this time hosting Nellie on the Cathedral Green this October. Her arrival marks the start of a season of the Cathedral celebrating our beautiful and diverse environment here in East and West Sussex. Further details of this, including a special event for families this Half Term, can be found on our website:

Lissie Pollard, from the Final Straw Foundation, is pleased with Nellie’s impact: ‘We really hope the fish will be a talking point at the Cathedral, encouraging people to think about how many water or soft drinks bottles they buy and dispose of each year.  It will hopefully inspire the local community to remember to always carry a reusable bottle, and to be more conscious about recycling effectively. Our primary goal is to reduce these items in the first place through the use of reusable items, so that we don’t need to recycle them at all.’

Councillor Penny Plant, Cabinet Member for Environment at Chichester District Council said: “It’s really important that we encourage people to recycle as much as they can, and I know that these sorts of visual reminders can be extremely effective at helping change people’s behaviour, by making people realise just how much waste is created. Plastic pollution in the ocean is a huge problem which we can all help play our part in preventing and I’m delighted that our council was able to organise Nellie’s return to Chichester. The sculpture is intended for plastic bottles and cans only, and we would ask that people do not place soft plastic bags or coffee cups in there. I urge everyone to make sure that they recycle their plastic bottles once they have finished with them as well as trying to reduce their use of plastic in future.”  

The fish’s journey can be followed through our social media pages and website.


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