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North Devon is set to host a colourful ‘Bear Hunt’ public art sculpture trail this autumn.

Local artists are currently decorating 25 individual five-foot-tall bears that will form a series of mini trails in around Barnstaple, Bideford, Torrington, Ilfracombe and South Molton.

The Bear Hunt art trail will run throughout September and October in aid of Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW).

The charity, which runs three children’s hospices, including Little Bridge House in Fremington near Barnstaple, has joined forces with The Art of Fundraising to deliver the project.

As well as helping to raise the profile of the hospice, it is hoped that the trail will also bring significant footfall and economic benefit to the host locations and surrounding areas.

CHSW Bear Hunt project coordinator Kate Romo said: “We’re really looking forward to seeing how all the artists choose to decorate their bears and can’t wait to see them form such a fun trail for people to follow in and around beautiful North Devon.

“We hope it will be hugely popular with both locals and visitors, who as well as being able to discover these wonderful pieces of bear art, will also be able to enjoy visiting the towns and villages in which they are located.”

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CHSW co-founder and chief executive Eddie Farwell and fundraisers Kate Romo and Katie McSweeney with one of the bears outside Little Bridge House. Pic: CHSW
Jockey Tom Scudamore and artist Kathy Nettles with one of the bears outside Little Bridge House. Pic: CHSW

Among the artists taking part are Phil Creek from Ottery St Mary; Mau Mau from Barnstaple; John Hurford from Chulmleigh; Kathy Nettles from Holsworthy; Sally Rich from Exmouth; Jenny Pymont from Paignton; and Jo Brown from Teignmouth.

There will also be a number of artist-celebrity collaborations, with former England and Somerset county cricketer Marcus Trescothick, and jockey Tom Scudamore, among those set to get creative.

“It’s going to be wonderful to see the personalities and styles of all the artists reflected in the bears,” added Kate.

“There will be a special trail app launching soon to help people track down all the bears and learn more about the artists and the work of CHSW.”

For more information, visit www.chswbearhunt.org

Cost of Living information 
from the Parish Council