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Tuxford goes wild about BookBench sculpture trail

Posted onPosted on 5th May

SCHOOLS across North Nottinghamshire are getting ready to showcase their creative talents to the region — as they add the finishing touches to their North Notts Journeys ‘BookBenches’ ahead of the sculpture trail launch this summer.

The ‘BookBench’ sculpture trail, which has been organised by North Notts BID in collaboration with Wild in Art, a leading producer of spectacular public art events, will see 40 uniquely designed benches put on display across places including Tuxford and Retford.

Launching on Friday 18 June, the trail will run for eight weeks throughout the summer and feature colourful designs that celebrate the area’s rich literary history and the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower crossing, as well as promoting a life-long love of reading.

Sally Gillborn, chief executive of North Notts BID, said: “We are delighted to be launching the ‘BookBench’ sculpture trail across North Nottinghamshire this summer. After it was postponed last year due to Covid-19, we are excited that the public will finally be able to see the tremendous creative efforts made by local students and artists to form this captivating trail.

“When finalising the concept with Wild in Art, we thought it was important that the trail tapped into the region’s unique heritage with several of the ‘BookBench’ designs inspired by the Mayflower crossing — telling the story of its past, present and future significance. However, we have also included more modern journeys, such as a heart-warming tribute to NHS key workers who have worked tirelessly to overcome the challenges of past year.”

Due to the impact of the pandemic, many of the ‘BookBenches’ have been strategically placed in town centres to help drive footfall towards the high street in a bid to boost custom for local businesses.

Sally continued: “As lockdown restrictions start to ease over the coming months, we hope this free activity will persuade families to get outside, stay local and create their own adventures – exploring parts of North Nottinghamshire they may have never visited before. We also want to encourage people to share their experiences online by posting pictures on social media with the hashtag #NorthNottsJourneys, so we can enjoy the trail together after a year of isolation.”

The end of the trail will be marked by the North Notts Lit Fest, with the benches contributing as a key focal point throughout the festival by hosting readings from well-known authors. Once the trail is over, the benches will be returned to the schools and organisations that designed them to inspire creativity and create a lasting legacy within the community.

The trail map will be available to download at from Friday, 18th June and printed versions will be available to pick up in shops and cultural institutions around North Nottinghamshire.