Magical creatures cast a spell in Ellesmere’s community wood

Twelve stunning art-works and a clutch of community owls have been enchanting all who come across them in Ellesmere’s community wood, The Plantation.

The Great Valhareio by Peter Cartlidge
The Great Valhareio by Peter Cartlidge

‘They will be in place through the summer holidays so there is still time to enjoy them,’ says Ian Andrew, Chairman of Fizzgigs, the Community Arts Group responsible for the whole project.

Ian’s Pollock Hawk is a defiant bird of prey hunting high up amongst the branches. In contrast Owlbert Einstein (by Roger Garland and Becca Moore) guiding his little owl students through the lessons of life is one to make visitors laugh. ‘Lovely’, ‘Really clever’, and ‘Highly recommended’ are just some visitor reactions

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Jackie Lowe said, ‘What an effort has gone into making this a magical wood! Totally awesome. Fizzgigs is inspirational.’

The Plantation, less than half a mile from the centre of Ellesmere, is accessible 24 hours a day. Some visitors have come in the evenings, including the Ellesmere Runners who, says Sandra Trevor, ‘were stopped in their tracks on our run last Friday evening.’

An information leaflet has been produced. Visitors could bring a pencil with them to wander the footpaths through The Plantation. There are brief descriptions of each of the large installations and children (and big kids, too!) can mark off when they discover each art-work. The leaflet is available at the entrance to The Plantation Wood, from Mere Motors, Ismays dress shop, Our Space, More than a Sundae and Moolah. Alternatively, the leaflet can be downloaded from Fizzgigs’ website.

The leaflet also includes a handy map for those who don’t yet know the delights of The Plantation. The 7.5 hectare wood is accessible from two points on Sandy Lane and from the canal towpath.

Some visitors have arrived by boat, with one Wolverhampton family saying this was the best part of their two-week narrowboat holiday. A family from Aberystwyth enjoyed the Meremaid Trail one day, continued their holiday then returned the next to see these clever creations. ‘We wish we had something like this where we live,’ the father commented.

There will be a chance to enter a Fizzgigs Competition. ‘Take a photo, paint a picture or write a poem about your favourite creature,’ Claire Cartlidge, member of Fizzgigs, urges. ‘There are three really great prizes for the ones the group thinks are best.’

Competition entries are invited right up to the end of the installation, towards the end of the school summer holidays. Entries are via the Fizzgigs’ website.

Entertainment – Shropshire Live