ORGANISERS of a canal festival have issued a rallying call for help to find a winter roost for three large and exotic birds.

The enormously popular artworks, commissioned for the 2016 Burnley Canal Festival, are without a home, as their previous storage was only available up to the 2017 festival.

Thousands of people have posed next to the festival birds for photographs, which have proved a real hit with visitors and organisers.

Currently, they have a temporary home at Gaz’s marquee hire in Burnley, but they now need to move on and there is nowhere to store them.

Organisers said that unless a free of charge option can be found, the two metre-high birds will need to be decommissioned.

Festival organisers have appealed for a business or individual with storage to spare who can offer the birds sanctuary until the next festival.

Nick Hunt, creative director of co-organisers Mid Pennine Arts, said they don’t have the funds available to rent a storage space.

Mr Hunt said: “As they are essentially papier maché, we weren’t sure that the birds would last beyond 2017, and in fact they are a little worse for wear in places.

“But that didn’t seem to bother any of the people queueing up to take their photographs with them, or one little lad I saw having an earnest conversation with the heron.

“We’d love to be able to keep them and bring them out again next

time, but that means we need to find storage as the previous place was only available up to the 2017 Festival. “We don’t have funds available to rent so we are hopeful that a local business, organisation or individual might be able to help out.

“We would hate to have to destroy them.

“The host could even have them on display, we’re open to discussing all options.”

Organisers said they would especially like to hear from anyone close to Burnley, as it would be ideal to have the birds within easy reach of their office.

The birds are made of willow and paper and need to be stored in a dry indoor space.

This year’s Burnley canal festival saw thousands of people enjoy free art, adventure, heritage and crafts across three venues- Sandygate Square, Burnley Wharf, and Finsley Gate as well as along the towpath.

The festival, which was in its sixth year this year, celebrates the canal’s heritage and the towpath environment.

Anyone who is interested in helping should get in touch with Nick Hunt at Mid Pennine Arts on 01282 421986.