Wood's visitors sure of a big surprise

April 01 2019
Wood's visitors sure of a big surprise

A BRISTOL legal services firm is one of the organisations sponsoring life-size painted bear sculptures set to go on display at Wild Place Project this spring.

The bear will be part of a trail of 20 individually hand-painted 3D bears placed around the south Gloucestershire attraction, greeting visitors from April 6 until September.  

Visitors will be able to follow a route around the park to discover the 6ft (1.8m) tall bears, each of which is now being individually designed and decorated by a team of talented artists. 

E.L.M Legal Services Ltd (E.L.M), which offers professional will writing and estate planning services, has sponsored one bear as part of a fundraising campaign for Wild Place Project’s exciting new exhibit, Bear Wood, which is now being created at the attraction.  

Will the E.L.M bear has been painted by a local artist who took the design specifications from the office staff to make him look businesslike and professional. 

Jim Emsley, managing director at E.L.M, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Wild Place Project on this fantastic summer sculpture trail and are very happy with the design of Will the Bear.” 

Dr Justin Morris, chief executive of Bristol Zoological Society, which runs the park, said: “We are very much looking forward to unveiling our bear sculpture trail this spring and are very grateful to E.L.M for their support of this fantastic event. We hope these colourful sculptures will be enjoyed by thousands of visitors to Wild Place Project over the spring and summer months.”  

The new bear sculpture trail is being run in conjunction with Wild in Art, who developed the hugely successful Wow! Gorillas trail with Bristol Zoo Gardens in 2011, to celebrate the zoo’s 175th birthday.  

Nigel Simpson, head of operations at Wild Place Project, said: “The bear sculpture trail is a fantastic collaboration between Wild Place Project and many of our partners and supporters.   

“It promises to be an exciting discovery trail around the attraction as visitors will be able to tick off the bears as they find them and take part in activities associated with the trail. It will be a wonderful prelude to the arrival of real bears later this year.”  

He added: “There is a great deal in store for our visitors throughout 2019 as Wild Place Project continues to grow and develop, and we are immensely grateful to all of our visitors, members, partners and supporters for helping us get to where we are today.”  

The sculpture trail comes ahead of the arrival of real European brown bears at the attraction, as a new exhibit called Bear Wood opens at Wild Place Project in July. All 20 bear sculptures have been sponsored by local organisations as part of a fundraising campaign for Bear Wood.  

Work is now underway creating the new exhibit, which will also be home to wolves, lynx and wolverine. 

Visitors will be able to walk through the seven-and-a-half-acre exhibit on a raised walkway that will wind its way through the trees. New, 180-degree, floor-to-ceiling glass viewing areas and ‘dens’ will give visitors an up-close view of the animals living alongside each other in British woodland as they would have done in years gone by. 

Bear Wood will transport visitors back to a time when these magnificent creatures roamed the UK countryside, taking them on a journey through the ages to the present day, while showing the effects of woodland loss on native wildlife. 

More about Bear Wood at www.wildplace.org.uk/bearwood 

More about E.L.M’s services at www.elm-online.co.uk