Dragon trail heading for Church Stretton this half term

Miniature dragon sculptures will take over a south Shropshire town during half term for a new trail.

Ceri Smith from Dragons of Shropshire is creating a trail for half term around the town for people, using her little dragons that she has made. At Burway Books in Church Stretton
Ceri Smith from Dragons of Shropshire is creating a trail for half term around the town for people, using her little dragons that she has made. At Burway Books in Church Stretton

Ceri Smith, who works at Burway Books in Church Stretton, is a talented needlefelt artist who has been running the social media page Dragons of Shropshire for four years, and created needlefelt sculptures for eight years.

Ceri's five year-old daughter, Emily, enjoyed a similar trail the Church Stretton Rotary Club put on over Easter with bears, and asked her mom to do something similar.

Dragons of Shropshire, which can be found on Facebook and Instagram, aims to celebrate stories from the county – and the trail will do the same, as each dragon sculpture is named after something in Shropshire.

Ceri Smith from Dragons of Shropshire is creating a trail for half term around the town for people, using her little dragons that she has made. At Burway Books in Church Stretton

Ceri said: "My five year-old daughter Emily asked me to do something similar to what the rotary club did at Easter with a bear trail around the town. I chewed on the idea of doing a similar trail and went for it.

"I am a needlefelt artist so I take sheep's wool and make it into miniature pets, toadstools, fairies, dragons – anything cute.

"A few years ago I started making dragons and I made up stories for each of them, giving them a Shropshire-related back story. They've just taken on a life of their own now which is great.

"I was born and raised in Shropshire, I work here and I've lived here all my life so I make sure all the dragons have a local name.

Ceri Smith from Dragons of Shropshire is creating a trail for half term around the town for people, using her little dragons that she has made. At Burway Books in Church Stretton

"One example is the LightSpout Dancer sculpture, which is inspired by the waterfall at the top of Carding Mill Valley. I imagine tiny little dragons living there."

The trail will start on Saturday, October 23, with maps and entry forms available from the bookshop on Friday.

Ceri added: "The route along the town will be marked by x's where the dragons are. Local businesses in Church Stretton are getting involved and will have the dragons in their windows.

"It's not just for children, families can get involved. I am setting up the trail on Friday with laminated pictures of the sculptures in the wild areas – the town council gave me permission to install them in green spaces.

"My daughter Emily is always asking for things to do, and children sometimes need a reason to go and walk somewhere so this is the perfect half term activity. It's something a bit different."

Visit facebook.com/shropshiredragons/ for more information or email shropshiredragonsopg@aol.com.

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