Yorkshire Coast Puffin Sculpture Trail going live

This summer, the puffins are flying south! Look out for them along the East Yorkshire coast and around the East Riding of Yorkshire, as they find new and often unlikely habitats. These are no ordinary puffins, but beautiful, artist decorated sculptures, standing proudly 1.5m tall, colourful beacons in the landscape.

Puffins Galore! will harness the special magnetism of this popular, but endangered, seabird to attract more visitors to the glorious East Yorkshire Coast through a mass participation public art event modelled on the hugely successful and award winning Hull and East Riding trails – ‘Larkin with Toads’ and ‘A Moth for Amy’.

From Saturday 2 July to the end of October this year, forty-two Puffins will delight people of all ages as they search for them from Bempton and Flamborough in the north to Easington and Kilnsea in the south, and at towns and cities inland. Bridlington, Hornsea, Withernsea, Beverley, Cottingham and Hull will all have their own Puffin mini-trails.

The project has been made possible with initial investment and support from key partner Yorkshire Coast BID and project partner Visit East Yorkshire. Each puffin has been sponsored by a business or institution which has chosen their unique design from artists’ submissions inspired by stories of the East Yorkshire Coast, endangered wildlife of our coasts and seas, global warming and the growth of green energy.

Art trail veteran and co-director of Puffins Galore!, Rick Welton says:

“We’ve been delighted by the generous response from local businesses keen to sponsor their puffin. Puffins seem to be everybody’s favourite bird, and the wildlife themes in particular have really inspired some wonderful designs from artists. We had over 150 designs submitted from artists across East Yorkshire but also from much further afield. Over the past few weeks, our artists have been working from their homes and studios around the UK. Quite a few have chosen to work in our makeshift studio-warehouse at The Boathouse in Hull, which has been kindly loaned by culture fans, local property developers, Rachel and James Murray.”

Project Manager and co-director Clare Huby explained:

“Puffins Galore! makes great connections between art, commerce, the general public and our charities. This feels more important than ever considering the separation we have all endured over the last two years. Past experience with the Larkin Toads and A Moth for Amy tells us that members of the public really enjoy these animal sculpture trails. It’s an event that all the family can take part in – finding the puffins, taking photos and discovering the ideas that have inspired our artists.”

“At the end of Puffins Galore! all of the Puffin sculptures will be sold, either to their sponsor or at a grand charity auction. The funds raised will benefit four charities that we have selected for their important role protecting the wildlife of the coasts and seas or for their essential work saving lives at sea – Hornsea Inshore Rescue, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, RNLI and RSPB.”

Rick Welton added:

“The sculptures are already creating a real buzz on social media with people desperate to find out where to find them. This plucky little seabird is proving to be incredibly popular with our followers and even international author Val Wood is involved. Val has written a short story especially for Puffins Galore! which we will be releasing soon – watch this space!  The puffin locations will be announced on social media, with our special phone-friendly Puffin Spotters app and distributing thousands of free Puffin Trail Maps across the region.”

Kerry Carruthers, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Coast BID says:

“Being able to support projects like Puffins Galore! that make art and education about wildlife accessible for people of all ages along the Yorkshire Coast is fantastic!  The talent involved in designing the Puffins alone is worth celebrating, and we encourage everyone to make the discovery of these a must do activity this summer.”