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Sport stars join forces with artists for ‘Bear Hunt’ art trail

Marcus Trescothick and artist Rachel Shilston, and Tom Scudamore and artist Kathy Nettles with their bears

Top UK sporting stars Marcus Trescothick and Tom Scudamore will be joining forces with local artists for Children’s Hospice South West’s (CHSW) Bear Hunt this autumn.

Former England and Somerset cricketer Marcus will be workingBear Hunt to decorate a bear with Gloucestershire-based artist Rachel Shilston, while British flat and steeplechase jockey Tom will be collaborating with artist Kathy Nettles, from Holsworthy.

Artists around the South West are currently decorating 25 individual five-foot-tall bears that will form a series of mini trails in around Barnstaple, Bideford, Torrington, Ilfracombe and South Molton this September and October. 

As well as helping to raise the profile of CHSW, it is hoped that the trail will also bring significant footfall and economic benefit to the North Devon area.

CHSW Bear Hunt project coordinator Kate Romo said: “We’re really looking forward to seeing how all the artists choose to decorate their bears and can’t wait to see them form such a fun trail for people to follow in and around beautiful North Devon.

“We hope it will be hugely popular with both locals and visitors, who as well as being able to discover these wonderful pieces of bear art, will also be able to enjoy visiting the towns and villages in which they are located.”

CHSW, which runs three children’s hospices, including Little Bridge House in Fremington near Barnstaple, has joined forces with The Art of Fundraising to deliver the project.

Other artists taking part include Mau Mau from Barnstaple; John Hurford from Chulmleigh; Phil Creek from Ottery St Mary; Sally Rich from Exmouth; Jenny Pymont from Paignton; and Jo Brown from Teignmouth.

It’s going to be wonderful to see the personalities and styles of all the artists reflected in the bears.

“There will be a special trail app launching soon to help people track down all the bears and learn more about the artists and the work of CHSW.” 

For more information, visit www.chswbearhunt.org