Puffin Sculpture Trail comes to the Yorkshire Coast this summer
- Credit: Tony Bartholomew
A series of forty-two decorated puffins are set to adorn the Yorkshire coast this summer.
Puffins Galore! will celebrate the popular, but endangered, seabird to attract more visitors to the East Yorkshire Coast through a mass participation public art event modelled on the hugely successful and award winning Hull and East Riding trails - ‘Larkin with Toads’ and ‘A Moth for Amy’.
From Saturday 2 July to the end of October this year, the 1.5m tall Puffins will form part of a trail that can provide some free summer entertainment, as you search for them from Bempton and Flamborough in the north to Easington and Kilnsea in the south, and at towns and cities inland. Bridlington, Hornsea, Withernsea, Beverley, Cottingham and Hull will all have their own Puffin mini-trails.
The project has been made possible with initial investment and support from key partner Yorkshire Coast BID and project partner Visit East Yorkshire. Each puffin has been sponsored by a business or institution which has chosen their unique design from artists’ submissions inspired by stories of the East Yorkshire Coast, endangered wildlife of our coasts and seas, global warming and the growth of green energy.
Art trail veteran and co-director of Puffins Galore!, Rick Welton says: “We’ve been delighted by the generous response from local businesses keen to sponsor their puffin. Puffins seem to be everybody’s favourite bird, and the wildlife themes in particular have really inspired some wonderful designs from artists. We had over 150 designs submitted from artists across East Yorkshire but also from much further afield. Over the past few weeks, our artists have been working from their homes and studios around the UK. Quite a few have chosen to work in our makeshift studio-warehouse at The Boathouse in Hull, which has been kindly loaned by culture fans, local property developers, Rachel and James Murray.”
Project Manager and co-director Clare Huby explained: “Puffins Galore! makes great connections between art, commerce, the general public and our charities. This feels more important than ever considering the separation we have all endured over the last two years. Past experience with the Larkin Toads and A Moth for Amy tells us that members of the public really enjoy these animal sculpture trails. It’s an event that all the family can take part in – finding the puffins, taking photos and discovering the ideas that have inspired our artists.”
"At the end of Puffins Galore! all of the Puffin sculptures will be sold, either to their sponsor or at a grand charity auction. The funds raised will benefit four charities that we have selected for their important role protecting the wildlife of the coasts and seas or for their essential work saving lives at sea - Hornsea Inshore Rescue, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, RNLI and RSPB.”
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The puffin locations will be announced on social media, with a special phone-friendly Puffin Spotters app and distributing thousands of free Puffin Trail Maps across the region. The official Spotter’s Guide is available from various outlets, this will include independent shops, leisure centres and Tourist Information Centres.
Kerry Carruthers, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Coast BID says: “Being able to support projects like Puffins Galore! that make art and education about wildlife accessible for people of all ages along the Yorkshire Coast is fantastic! The talent involved in designing the Puffins alone is worth celebrating, and we encourage everyone to make the discovery of these a must do activity this summer.”
You can see all the photos already posted on social media by using the #puffinsgalore hashtag.
Wild puffins draw crowds every year to coastal hot spots such as Flamborough Head and Bempton Cliffs during their annual migration cycle, they return to Yorkshire in late March and begin to depart during July, with peak viewing in May and June.