Ipswich runner, Sophie Bell, is one of the first people to visit all 50 Big Hoot statues this summer after completing a 12km route around the trail.
A keen runner, who is a leader of running group Run Talk Run and a member of Ipswich Phoenix Running Club, Sophie completed her Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 run on Sunday 19th June – the official launch day for the summer-long trail.
Starting at Holywells Park with the Big Hoot, Little Hoots statue, Sophie’s route then saw her run along Ipswich Waterfront, towards the train station before looping round to Christchurch Park and finishing beside the Cherry Blossoming statue, outside St Peters by the Waterfront Arts & Heritage Centre, in an impressive time of 1 hour 15 minutes.
Sophie said: “The route was about 12km in total, but I did take one wrong turn! It was really nice to explore the town and collect the Big Hoot codes on the Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 smartphone app as we went round.
“There are so many lovely statue designs to see and I particularly like Crystal, Hoot-an-Khamun and Discowl. I think it’s such a brilliant way to support St Elizabeth Hospice because it’s fun and gets people talking. It is definitely bringing people back into the town and it’s something which brings smiles to the faces of people of all ages.”
The Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 is the third art trail brought to Ipswich by St Elizabeth Hospice in partnership with creative producers Wild in Art, following the success of Pigs Gone Wild 2016 and Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk 2019.
As part of the Big Hoot Ipswich 2022, 50 ornately decorated owl sculptures, featuring a range of designs have made their nests throughout Ipswich. These will be available for everyone to view and enjoy between 19th June and 3rd September, as part of the biggest free art event in Suffolk which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to the town.
Celia Joseph, community relationships fundraising manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “Well done to Sophie for being quick off the mark to visit all our Hoots!
“It is brilliant to see so many people engaging with the trail, exploring the town centre, enjoying the fantastic designs and also learning a little more about the hospice in the process.”