Penshaw Monument to turn pink again in honour of wildlife centre's flamingos

Penshaw Monument lit up pink last night.
Penshaw Monument lit up pink last night.

Iconic Penshaw Monument will be tickled pink again tonight in honour of Washington Wetland Centre's flamboyant flamingos.

The monument will don a pink glow for a second night tonight on what is the last day of voting, to secure funding for the creation of Europe’s first solar-powered flamingo house at nearby Washington Wetland Centre.

Flamingos at Washington Wetlands Centre.

Flamingos at Washington Wetlands Centre.

The project to install Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels, UV lighting and heat lamps is shortlisted for £12,000 from the M&S Energy Fund and if successful will provide sustainable conditions for breeding and rearing ‘flaminglings’, as the fluffy chicks are affectionately known.

But with less than 16 hours to go until the midnight deadline, crucial public votes are still needed for the plans to top the Tyne and Wear category and secure the cash.

“We're delighted to have reached this stage and would be so grateful to receive this vital boost for our much-loved and important Chilean flamingo flock,” said Leanne McCormella, WWT Washington’s marketing manager.

“Not only will the project help create optimum breeding conditions for our birds but the renewable energy generated will also reduce carbon emissions and save our charity money.”

Flamingos at Washington Wetlands Centre.

Flamingos at Washington Wetlands Centre.

Also working hard to boost the voting tally are project partners Enviro UK Consultants Limited and renewable energy company ARPower.

Sharon Lashley from Enviro UK Consultants Limited, said: “As an active WWT member we are so very proud and excited to be part of this very unique Solar PV project.

“Installing solar panels onto the flamingo house alongside UV lighting and heat lamps is such an amazing way to encourage and support the flamingo breeding programme at WWT Washington.

“As a PV Project manager this is most definitely one of our most innovative and exciting energy efficiency projects to date.”

Washington-based ARPower’s director Maria Dunville said: “We see a lot of interesting projects with Solar, but in my six years working within the industry this has got to be one of the most unique. The opportunity to help create life is amazing - how special is that?

“It’s a fabulous opportunity to give back and boost the economy in Washington. Growing up here, I am very invested in this project succeeding.”

Despite the fog, the glow from the monument was stunning last night and locals are looking forward to the second night of ‘pinkness’ in recognition of their local resident flamingos.

Leanne added: “We love that there are great views of Penshaw Monument from our site.

"It’s a landmark that is very close to our team’s heart and we couldn’t be more excited to see it do something so special for us.

“Turning it pink is a great way of engaging the local community and is definitely something different to help our bid stand out.

"But we can’t win without public votes and we’re urging anyone who loves wildlife to take just a couple of minutes to go online and support us."