Andy Parsons (L) and James Webb (centre) from Cotswolds National Landscape, with Simon Chorley from Chorley’s Auctioneers. Image by Russell Sach.
Last Thursday, the Kingfisher Trail 2021 came to a celebratory close, with an atmospheric auction hosted by Chorley’s Auctioneers at Pittville Pump Room, Cheltenham. Over the summer, the unique collection of 22 individually designed sculptures flew across the Cotswolds, and many came to perch for one night only at the auction, where they were snapped up by auction guests and remote bidders.
The Kingfisher Trail has raised around £60,000 – with several of the kingfishers snapped up by eager buyers in the weeks before the auction, and the remaining sculptures selling through the auction. The sales of the sculptures are a fantastic acknowledgement of both the creative talent and skills of the artists involved, and the willingness for bidders to support the work of the Cotswolds National Landscape team.
All the kingfisher sculptures have a personal story and were beautifully designed and decorated by participating artists. Each kingfisher carries the signature style of its creator, with surface decoration on the kingfishers inspired by a range of themes from climate change, to the pandemic, to the conservation of the Cotswolds countryside.
Now, as the kingfishers take flight to their new homes, funds raised by the Kingfisher Trail will be put towards work which engages young people with the Cotswolds countryside and traditional rural skills. After the confirmation throughout the pandemic of just how important our green spaces are, it is more important than ever before to inspire young people from all backgrounds to get outside into the fresh air, and involve them in projects which provide a sense of achievement and a positive outlook.
Andy Parsons, Chief Executive from trail organisers Cotswolds National Landscape, commented:
“Within three years we have an ambition for our Rural Skills Outreach programme to be largely self-financing – supported by the more commercial elements of our rural skills programme (courses, tourism experiences and corporate days). Unsurprisingly though, it’s these areas of our operations that have suffered badly over the past 18 months, and we are in the process of starting to rebuild. So, the funds raised through the Kingfisher Trail will be a massive help in ensuring we can continue to reach out to those young people who need it most.”
Editors’ Notes – for high resolution imagery, please contact Alana Hopkins at Cotswold National Landscape – firstname.lastname@example.org