People from across the UK are trumpeting with excitement for elephant art trail

From babies to adults, thousands of people across the UK and beyond are joining in the fun with Herd In The City.

While most trail-goers are from Essex and East London, Herd In The City is enticing people to Southend-on-Sea from further afield, including Scotland, Bath, Bournemouth, Bristol, Oxford, Nottingham and Kent.

Herd In The City’s 46 large elephant sculptures and dozens of baby elephants are currently gracing the streets of the Southend-on-Sea, Shoeburyness and Leigh-on-Sea and will only be in place until Monday 4 September.

The first person to complete the trail was Helen Metcalf from Walsall in the Midlands, whose love of elephants and art trails saw her specifically make the trip to Southend-on-Sea.

She says, “I hadn’t intended to be the first to complete the trail, although I did intend to complete it all. It’s a nice feeling to be the first, though, and it always feels good to complete a trail.

Helen says about the elephants, “It’s hard to pick a favourite sculpture as they are so varied, but a few stood out to me. I love the stars in the eyes of Sharman the Starman and that Elle the Explorer, a pirate elephant, is next to the yacht club! ‘Do not feed the birds’ made me laugh, and I liked ‘Waterline’s’ accurate representation of the pier.”

Taylor Crawford standing next to elephant sculpture Eleigh on Sea

Taylor Crawford from Westcliff-on-Sea was the first to complete the trail through the Herd In The City app. She marched over 20,000 steps in a day and a half across the city to collect all of the elephant sculptures.

She says, “I love elephants, so I wanted to make sure I saw all the different elephants around the area. Knowing I’m the first to complete it on the app is amazing!

“I enjoyed seeing all the different designs and how the artists decorated the elephants. My favourite elephant is Eleigh on Sea.”

Lucy Anderson with baby Robyn in a sling standing next to an elephant sculpture decorated with trunks and scuba gear

Lucy Anderson from Southend completed the trail with her family, including Fiancé Lieon and 15-week-old daughter Robyn. She hadn’t been able to take part in the previous art trail, Hares About Town, because of working in the holidays, so she took the opportunity to join in with Herd In The City. It took Lucy 26 days to complete the trail, using this time to heal physically from her caesarean and bond with baby Robyn.

She says, “I enjoyed getting out and about and finding the elephants. My personal favourite was Jelly-phant in Leigh-on-Sea.

“It’s a fantastic way for everyone of all ages to explore Southend, not to mention all funds going to charity!

Havens Hospices provides specialist care and support for people of all ages living with incurable conditions and supports their families. This care and support includes everyone, extending to partners, family and friends to make sure the right support is there for patients and the people who matter to them, where and when they need it.

The care is provided absolutely free of charge and is only made possible thanks to donations and fundraising initiatives such as Herd In The City.

Havens Hospices is asking those who have participated in the Herd In The City art trail to give their thoughts about their experience. The feedback will help the charity to develop future trails and events to raise more money for local families living with complex or incurable conditions.

All completed surveys will be entered into a prize draw to win a £250 OneforAll voucher thanks to sponsor Luke Hilton Racing. Complete the survey. 

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Baby Robyn in a pram next to a decorated baby elephant sculpture