Bury St Edmunds launches its wolf art trail

Artists involved in the wolf trail art project in Bury. Back L-R: Nigel Kaines, Duncan Riggall, Mari

Artists involved in the wolf trail art project in Bury. Back L-R: Nigel Kaines, Duncan Riggall, Marie Roby, Jackie Manning, Steve Manning. Melanie Lesser (Bury in Bloom) with Mark Cordell (Our Bury St Edmunds)(front). - Credit: Archant

Chester has had its rhinos, Aberdeen its dolphins and Norwich its gorillas.

And soon visitors to Bury St Edmunds will be greeted with wolves as part of a new tourist trail.

The summer art project, which was launched in the town yesterday, aims to have 20 life-size or larger wolf sculptures made by local artists dotted around Bury.

The trail will also be a tribute to Saint Edmund, whose decapitated head was guarded by a wolf, according to legend.

The attraction, which will be on display from mid-July to St Edmunds Day (November 20), has been organised by Business Improvement District (BID) group Ourburystedmunds and partners in the town.

While inspired by similar art trails across the UK, the organisers are confident this one will not simply be copying what others have done.

Chief executive of Ourburystedmunds, Mark Cordell, said: “Chester has had rhinos, Aberdeen had dolphins and Norwich had gorillas a couple of years ago, which attracted around a million extra visitors to the city.

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“Our wolves will be unique as each one will be individually crafted by an artist, rather than having identical sculptures that are then painted with different designs.

“We’ve chosen the wolf because of its connection to the legend of St Edmund. It will be a natural extension of the wolf sculpture that’s already welcoming many people to the town on the Southgate roundabout.”

Melanie Lesser, who is helping to co-ordinate the trail, said: “I’m delighted that the wolf trail is set to become a reality thanks to generous sponsorship from so many different organisations.

“It’s wonderful that the town and borough councils are supporting this as well and that four county and borough councillors are all making contributions from their locality budgets. With the cathedral and Arc working in partnership with the BID as well I hope the whole town will benefit from the visitors this exciting project is likely to bring to Bury St Edmunds this summer.”

The wolves will be displayed in public spaces and buildings across the town, with the potential for some to be sited within local businesses.

The councillors who have contributed funds from their locality budgets are Sarah Stamp, Mark Ereira, Joanna Rayner and Paul Farmer.