Nicolas Pain
Marine Wildlife Sculptor

Hope - Edtion of 18.
Dimensions D 17 cm W 30 cm H 43 cm
Please contact me directly for availability and ordering
Price £1850
Hope's Story

I don't usually give my work titles other than to name the creatures depicted, however I was inspired to title my single Seahorse piece after reading this report from the Seahorse Trust.

Hope the Juvenile female Spiny Seahorse

Report by Neil Garrick Maidment Executive Director,
The Seahorse Trust

Imagine our horror on Saturday when we got to South Beach in Studland bay to see 63 boats already on site by 9.30, (there were 143, 2 hours later and they had been coming and going all the time and so the anchoring incidences were amount o hundreds of anchors dropping into this fragile site) including one anchor directly over where we saw Hope the Seahorse 2 weeks ago.
It was with a heavy heart we entered the water and started to look for her and apart from a massive anchor and very long anchor chain there was no sign of her. This was an absolute disaster. The first seahorse in 2 years at South Beach gone, possibly crushed by an anchor.
Despite all of this, we continued with our survey, even though the boats ignored our SMB's and surface divers warning of divers below and coming very close to us (apparently we were in 'their water' and had no right to be there, funny how we have always said that Studland Bay should be open to all and yet they want us gone!!!) one even coming within 2 metres of us. They did not know how many divers were underwater and so deliberately put lives at risk, even though we had put every safety aspect in place.
As we carried on with the survey working in two groups, time was ticking on and I was starting to think she had gone. [To find seahorses takes a great deal of patience, determination, having your eye in and a certain amount of good luck] As I was working my way along through the seagrass I came across a patch of brown spikey algae and saw the very top of her head, no bigger than a centimetre squared but very distinctive with the coronet and spines sticking up. I could not believe it, this was well over 100 yards away from where she was before and there she was looking tiny but safe and sound and had survived the anchor dropping onto her 'patch'.
This was amazing news and the rest of the team joined me and we went about our work of photographing her and marking the location, checking health and recording data etc.
People often ask me how do I know it is the same seahorse, well that is simple, over the years we developed a technique of photo identification to show individual spots and marks on the head and these are checked against our database.
After measuring her and taking the photographs we moved on happy to know this little seahorse had somehow managed to survive the onslaught of all these boats but we were also worried because she is on her own. She does not have a mate and despite intensive searching we cannot find another seahorse on the site.
Is Hope the loneliest seahorse in Britain?, I truly hope not but it does give further emphasise to make sure Studland Bay becomes a Marine Conservation Zone and is protected for the future, so hopefully if she survives Hope will help this unique site become recolonised.

Copyright © 2017 Nicolas Pain