A team of talented artists have brightened up Post Office Lane in Newport with a mural based on the life of Newport resident, the White-Letter Hairstreak butterfly.

Commissioned by Newport & Carisbrooke Community Council (NCCC), the appropriately-titled mural 'Love Letter to An Elm on Post Office Lane' brings the final touch to the upgraded public toilet area.

Artist Alice Malia was guided by ARC Consulting on the life cycle of the butterfly and its relationship with the elm tree. Sadly, Dutch Elm Disease has destroyed many of the elm trees in Towngate where the rare butterfly lives.

Alice said: "It was a pleasure working on this public art piece to highlight this important local conservation project. My team and I enjoyed chatting to the many passers-by in Newport about the work, and we hope it will be enjoyed for years to come!"

With the completion of the mural, the Post Office Lane area has now been completely transformed with a member of the public saying "it's so much better, I used to walk around to avoid walking down the lane but now I enjoy walking through."

Cllr Julie Jones-Evans said "When Newport Parish Council stepped up and over responsibility for Isle of Wight Council public toilets in Newport and Carisbrooke in 2016, we quickly identified that the Post Office Lane facilities needed a big upgrade. The whole area was unwelcoming and the toilets themselves unsavoury to say the least. However, they had the highest footfall of all the toilets in the parish, so we decided to make a major investment here, creating a new public space with brand new toilets, fit for the County Town.

Roll forward to 2022 and we have now completed the project with this beautiful mural by Alice. Bringing nature into the urban space is important, we have new planting area, lime tree and the roof of the toilet block is planted with sedum (green roof) creating a natural habitat. The toilets are energy and water efficient - this reflects our commitment to being a part of the Island's Biosphere.

I'd like to thank all the many people involved such as; demolition, planning, crane operation, archaeology, grounds works, landscaping, installation, Ian Boyd, Danfo - especially our project manager Claudio Catina - who died from Covid before it was completed and our team at Newport and Carisbrooke Community Council. It's been a long journey but I think worth it, to see the transformation of this place. We should all be proud of the achievement."

More of Alice's work can be seen on her Instagram account