A renowned graffiti artist wants his defaced Salford artwork to be repaired as soon as possible after vandals tried to wreck his hard work.

Graffiti artist Tony Kelzo painted a mural on a wall at Salford Wetlands that was unveiled 12 months ago.

But he has been left horrified after it was revealed that the painting, which depicts a colorful image of the wildlife inside the Wetlands, was defaced on Monday evening by vandals.

Kelzo, who has been an artist since the 1980’s and painted many of Manchester’s walls in vibrant colors, commented on the vandalism and wants his artwork to be restored immediately.

Kelzo’s disappointment was echoed by the Luke Blazejewski, a wildlife photographer/filmmaker: “It’s a shame. It was built and designed to celebrate the wonderful aspects of the Wetlands, and its cultural and historical aspects.

“It was created with the community in mind so its a shame that this has happened less than a year since it has been opened to the public.”

Kelzo’s mural takes center stage at Salford Wetlands – an area of natural beauty that was completed in February last year but wasn’t officially open to the public until May.

The area is based on old University of Salford’s sports pitches and was transformed into a wetlands area where bird watching and a 2.5km pathway are both widely used by Salfordians.

The Wetlands features multiple works of art from Kelzo throughout the pathways, so showcases murals depicting the beauty of wildlife.

Salford City Council and the Environment Agency joined forces to create the £10.3 million 28 hectare second flood water storage basin which took three years to build and will work in tandem with the flood basin at Littleton Road completed in 2005.

It will capture up to 650 million liters of water when the River Irwell rises and releases it slowly when the river levels drop.

This shows vast improvements from 2015, when approximately 750 properties were flooded in Lower Broughton on Boxing Day, leaving many homeowners distraught in the holiday season.

Within the flood embankments, 10 hectares of wildflower habitat have been planted, which will attract pollinating species such as bees, moths, lady birds, and butterflies.

This is a positive for Salford as the bee population has declined drastically across the country in recent years.

For more information, Luke Blazejewski released a documentary that showcases the natural beauty of the Salford Wetlands, and explores the wildlife living there.

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