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Bishop's Castle planners in hopes for elephant sculpture trail

By Charlotte Bentley | Bishop's Castle | News | Published:

Community planners are restarting their stampede for funding to get an elephant sculpture trail in their town.

Winnie mammoth created out of brushwood at Bishop's Castle

The Bishop's Castle Community Plan was knocked back for funding for the project by the Rural Development Programme for England last year. But like elephants, they never forgot about their bid, so are preparing to apply to Bishop's Castle Town Council to get the project off the ground.

The group want to place one giant life-sized elephant in the town centre, complemented by a number of smaller elephants around town, linked by a trail for residents and visitors to explore.

The idea for the elephant theme came through Bishop’s Castle’s long-standing connection with the animals.

The crest in the town square features an elephant and it is believed elephants were even kept in Bishop's Castle during the Second World War.

Local artist Bamber Hawes recently created a life-sized mammoth out of brushwood at the Wintles christened Winnie.

Group chairman Keith Whiddon said in a Bishop's Castle town council meeting that the project was well-supported in the town after the first bid.

Momentum

He said: "We had a fantastic wave of support from the community. People were looking forward to it and said it was a shame it didn't happen.

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"So we are now doing it at more of a grass roots level. We started with creating the Winnie the Wintles Mammoth sculpture and got a lot of media interest."

Henry Hunter, owner of the Castle Hotel, who is involved in the planning group, said: "We would rather do this in partnership with the town council. We want to explore the ways in which we can kick-start this project and maximise on the interest we have.

"We want to put in the infrastructure whereby we can then launch a trail. We feel we have enough support from artists, and a lot of crowdfunding options.

"So we want to discuss a number of things with the town council to see where they can help. We want to work together.

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"There is a lot of momentum and energy to move forward on this but we need some funding and direction as well to really move this to the next level."

The group also said they wish to make improvements to the market square in the town in order to make it a base for the trail in the future.

They have ideas for interactive sculptures, including a wooden play elephant for the playing fields and a large sculpture in the market square.

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at charlotte.bentley@shropshirestar.co.uk.

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