'Real buzz' across town as Big Hoot officially launches

Pictured are nurses from St Elizabeth's Hospice who are taking part in the Hoot Hike.

Nurses from St Elizabeth's Hospice who are taking part in the Hoot Hike - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A "real buzz" has swept across the town today as the highly-anticipated Hoot Hike launched the Big Hoot Ipswich 2022.

The event, which saw volunteers position 50 owls across the town centre overnight, has been organised by St Elizabeth Hospice in partnership with creative producers, Wild in Art.

The Big Hoot launches in Ipswich with the Hoot Hike around the town to visit all the owl statues.

The Big Hoot launches in Ipswich with the Hoot Hike around the town to visit all the owl statues. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Altogether there are more than 100 owls to be seen, with 65 Little Hoots coming to roost all around the town.

All funds raised from the Big Hoot will help St Elizabeth Hospice and encourage more people to visit Ipswich town centre.

A multicoloured 'Hoot' owl in Ipswich

The Big Hoot launches in Ipswich with the Hoot Hike around the town to visit all the owl statues. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

"The atmosphere has been really uplifting", said Hannah Bloom, director of income generation at St Elizabeth Hospice.

"If you stand near one of the Hoots for just five minutes, you can see so many people stopping to admire them.

"It's brought a real buzz and some much-needed positivity to the town.

"Thank you to all our supporters and the fundraising team."

Two people looking at Big Hoot map

The Big Hoot launches in Ipswich with the Hoot Hike around the town to visit all the owl statues. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

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The Hoot Hike saw hundreds of people join to complete a 5km trail around Ipswich, with stops at a number of the town's landmarks.

"It's fantastic because people are seeing parts of Ipswich they've never seen before", said Hannah.

"It's just provided something a bit different and brought more colour to the town."

The Big Hoot launches in Ipswich with the Hoot Hike around the town to visit all the owl statues. Ko

The Big Hoot launches in Ipswich with the Hoot Hike around the town to visit all the owl statues. Koby and Emma NOce woth Jenson Goodchild and Jane Sparrow. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The Big Hoot launches in Ipswich with the Hoot Hike around the town to visit all the owl statues. Ad

The Big Hoot launches in Ipswich with the Hoot Hike around the town to visit all the owl statues. Adele and Elizabeth Morley and Nicole and Taylor Warner. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The Big Hoot launches in Ipswich with the Hoot Hike around the town to visit all the owl statues. Pc

The Big Hoot launches in Ipswich with the Hoot Hike around the town to visit all the owl statues. Pcitured is Celia Joseph, community relations fundraising manager at St Elizabeth's Hospice. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Clare Flatt, a resident who took part in the Hike, said: "There has been a fantastic atmosphere.

Two children in front of of a blue coloured 'Hoot' owl

Theo and Elijah with Mabel and Friends 'Hoot' owl - Credit: Sonya Duncan

"Events like this are brilliant for the town. They bring people together and help raise funds for an important local charity in St Elizabeth Hospice."

The 50 owl sculptures will be available to view between June 19 and September 3. 

They will then be auctioned off on September 15, with all funds raised going to the hospice in support of the vital work they carry out.

The event is the third art trail brought by the Hospice and Wild in Art, following Pigs Gone Wild 2016 and Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk 2019.

The Big Hoot launches in Ipswich with the Hoot Hike around the town to visit all the owl statues.

The Big Hoot launches in Ipswich with the Hoot Hike around the town to visit all the owl statues. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The Big Hoot launches in Ipswich with the Hoot Hike around the town to visit all the owl statues.

The Big Hoot launches in Ipswich with the Hoot Hike around the town to visit all the owl statues. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The Big Hoot launches in Ipswich with the Hoot Hike around the town to visit all the owl statues.

The Big Hoot launches in Ipswich with the Hoot Hike around the town to visit all the owl statues. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

You can now pick up our Big Hoot Sticker Book!

Available for just £5 at: https://suffolkstore.co.uk/bighoot or by calling 01603 772138.

A token for a free pack of stickers will be printed every day in the EADT and Ipswich Star.