Fantasy creatures taking up residence in woodland

Wondrous creatures are coming out of hiding in Ellesmere this weekend in readiness for the opening of the Magical Plantation Trail.

Margaret Lewery with her dragon and a sprite
Margaret Lewery with her dragon and a sprite

Together with other fantastical creations, they were made by Fizzgigs, Ellesmere’s Community Arts Group.

They will take up residence along the paths and in the trees of a 2.7 hectare mature broad-leaved woodland called The Plantation on Sandy Lane, under half a mile from the centre of Ellesmere.

‘We are all very excited about the installation of the fabulous beasts this coming weekend, with the official opening on Sunday ,’ said Anna Hayes, member of Fizzgigs and creator of a Squiggly Wiggly Snake.

Other recent additions to the menagerie of marvellous creatures are a Harlequin Hawk, a caterpillar and Lizzie the Dragon. ‘

They will be set off by the flurry of Fizzgigs owls made by members of the community.

Chairman Ian Andrew said:

"We wanted to wave a magic wand over the Plantation, which is a special community asset. Families enjoyed our celebration of spring installation over the first May Bank Holiday weekend which, as well as a towering, garlanded figure of Spring – Primavera – saw more than 60 sprites cavorting around her.

"Enthusiastic reactions spurred us on to this new venture.’

Mary Lewery had the concept of one of those sprites meeting up with her glorious dragon, Lizzie.

"Visitors can decide whether or not the meeting is a friendly one," she said.

Visitors should take a pencil with them to wander the footpaths through The Plantation and pick up an information leaflet has been produced. There are brief descriptions of each of the large installations and walkers can mark off when they discover each art-work.

There will also 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 said.

"There will be a prize for the one the group thinks is best."

All details of how to enter will be on the information leaflet which can be picked up at the entrance to The Plantation or on the Fizzgigs’ website fizzgigs.co.uk.’

Pip Elms, member of the Plantation Wood volunteering group, said: "We are all excited about this unusual venture. The Plantation is already popular with locals, providing a special link between the Mere and the Llangollen Canal. We hope the Trail will encourage visitors to linger longer, and appreciate the natural beauty as well as all these amazing creations.’ She added that paths might not be suitable for some children’s pushchairs or wheelchairs and that parking was available at the Mere and Castle Mound car parks.

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