A MURAL celebrating the countryside has appeared outside the closed Debenhams shop.

Samantha Redmill, art teacher at Bishop Wordsworth's School, decided something needed to be done to the exterior of the former department store, which is in a very prominent position in Salisbury City Centre - opposite the Market Place and taking up a vast part of Blue Boar Row.

As a result, the idea to paint a countryside-inspired mural was born.

"Walking past Debenhams all boarded up, which is a shop people would go to for Christmas, it just makes you feel miserable. We just wanted to brighten the place up," Samantha said.

"We got in touch with the CEO of Bradbeers asking if we could have this up for three or four months and we got a yes, so it's just snowballed from there.

"In my head, I wanted to bring the countryside into the city, everyone loves the countryside."

The mural is a made-up scene, inspired by walks and sights from in and around Salisbury and Amesbury.

With a mission to complete the spectacle within three weeks, teachers from Bishop Wordsworth's, pupils from Years 12 and 13 and parents are visiting the site to join in with painting.

At the moment the mural is purely a countryside landscape, but animals will soon be added to the artwork.

Samantha will be taking Year 7s down to the shop front next week to paint designs along the bottom using stencils.

An extra challenge for those taking part, Samantha revealed that no green paint is being used as the colour is "too artificial", meaning the major colour on the mural is created through yellows and blues.

Samantha added: "We've had lots of kind words from everyone walking past, saying it looks lovely and thanking us for doing something."

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