Sheffield’s elephant art trail is a work of animal magic

Herd of Sheffield Launch with the one outside City Hall - Pete Southwood and his daughter Molly aged 3
Herd of Sheffield Launch with the one outside City Hall - Pete Southwood and his daughter Molly aged 3

A new sculpture attraction is trumpeting the talents of artists after stampeding into the city centre this week.

The Herd of Sheffield is a trail of 58 elephants, spread around key landmarks across the city and decorated with colourful and often intricate designs.

Arctic Monkeys Elephant outside the Town Hall,  John Woolley studies the Herd trail map

Arctic Monkeys Elephant outside the Town Hall, John Woolley studies the Herd trail map

In October the 1.6 metre fibreglass sculptures will be auctioned off to raise money for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity.

Elephants have been selected for the project - presented in partnership with the Wild in Art organisation - to celebrate Sheffield’s industrial heritage. This year marks 100 years since Lizzie the Indian elephant was put to work in the city’s steel industry during World War One.

Rebecca Staden, fundraising manager at the charity, said the trail would boost the economy, while raising funds for the children’s hospital.

She said: “It will bring together schools, companies and businesses from all sectors to create inspiring partnerships and reinforce Sheffield’s status as a vibrant and culturally exciting city.

7 July 2016.....The first of Herd of Elephants , a scuplture trail across the city, the latest fundraising initiative by the Sheffield Childrens Hospital Charity begin to appear in situ.The charity's Ellie McCaldin outside the iconic Park Hill flats. Picture Scott Merrylees

7 July 2016.....The first of Herd of Elephants , a scuplture trail across the city, the latest fundraising initiative by the Sheffield Childrens Hospital Charity begin to appear in situ.The charity's Ellie McCaldin outside the iconic Park Hill flats. Picture Scott Merrylees

“The Herd will unite communities, bring thousands of people into the city centre and drive business to the local economy. Other similar projects in cities across the country have seen a huge increase in footfall on the High Street, with economies boosted as a result. The Herd will do just that, while making a lasting contribution to the future of the children’s hospital by raising considerable funds.”

Visitors to the city centre have given the trail their approval. Pete Southwood, aged 36, of Ranmoor, said the statues were ‘brilliant’, while taking a picture of his three-year-old daughter Molly next to a bright pink elephant in Barker’s Pool.

“It’s great to see such an awesome display of public art. We’ve been having a great time walking around the city.”

In June a trail of about 70 smaller elephant statues decorated by schoolchildren went on show across the city centre.

Trail maps can be found at the Town Hall, railway station or City Hall.