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Giant Holywells Park hedgehog gets name as innovative art trail expands

PUBLISHED: 18:14 10 January 2018

Stickle, the giant hedgehog is a new addition to Holywells Park.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Stickle, the giant hedgehog is a new addition to Holywells Park. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A humongous hedgehog housed in Holywells Park last autumn has been given a name by the public as part of an innovative art trail.

Peta Hillier (left) from the Holywells Creative with Ms B Gumanm (right) whose name suggestion, Stickle,  was the winning entry. Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL Peta Hillier (left) from the Holywells Creative with Ms B Gumanm (right) whose name suggestion, Stickle, was the winning entry. Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

The Holywells Creative art collective crafted the homely hedgehog out of willow sticks last summer, and unveiled it in the park’s reception in the autumn.

A competition in partnership with Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk Wildlife Trust was launched to name the magnificent mammal, with Mrs B Gumanm’s suggestion of Stickle last week being named the winner.

Peta Hillier from the Holywells Creative group said: “The plan for Stickle was to make it out of willow, and I do work with natural materials that can decompose into the environment – I thought it was appropriate for the park.

“The idea is it should raise awareness for hedgehogs. Ipswich has a very good record with hedgehogs, and our hedgehog officer too.”

The rustic sculpture is part of a wider art trail being introduced by the park and Holywells Creative to help people enjoy all parts of the park’s scenery.

So far three sculptures on the life cycle have been crafted by Carlos Fernandes, while a wall at the back of the park which has previously been troubled by graffiti has been overhauled into a positive graffiti wall by Michelle Bowden, who is hoping to work with the vandals and engage them in expressing their creativity.

A memory tree is the next item being planned, which will allow park visitors to share their experiences and memories of their visit on a tree sculpture, with the Creative’s family day stall accepting submissions.

An exhibition of work is also being prepared for the orangery.

“It makes it a more interesting experience,” Ms Hillier said.

“Because all of the sculptures have meanings people can try and relate to them.

“We want people to engage and question them, because this is such a fantastic park.”

With the positive reaction to Stickle already, Ms Hillier hasn’t ruled out adding smaller stick hedgehogs around the willow work of art as a branch of Stickle’s family.

A spokesman from Ipswich Borough Council’s Holywells Park team added: “We are really pleased with the work of the Holywells Creative and we work closely with them and the Friends to make the park a more enjoyable experience for visitors.”

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