On Monday 5th December, the highly anticipated Moor Otters public arts initiative was officially launched at a special event which brought regional businesses and artists together at Bovey Castle for the unveiling of the otter sculptures.
The 100 sculptures will all be uniquely decorated with designs from 100 selected artists, and are set for release on and around Dartmoor next summer, creating a trail for the public to explore.
The event was hosted by Dartmoor National Park to celebrate the official launch of the Moor Otters project and guests included artists selected to design the otters and regional businesses supporting the project. Guests learnt more about Moor Otters and how the funds raised from sponsorship of the sculpture trail and eventual sale of the otters would create positive opportunities for an enhanced visitor experience and essential conservation on Dartmoor.
The Moor Otters project aims to raise £100,000 in sponsorship and sales, which will be used for projects to conserve and enhance Dartmoor’s landscape and wildlife initiatives not specifically covered by the Park’s core funding. The money will also help develop Dartmoor’s Young Ranger programme, which supports educational access and engages young people in conservation projects, creating the conservationists of the future.
Dartmoor National Park Authority Chairman, Bill Hitchins commented: “It was wonderful to welcome so many Moor Otters supporters to Bovey Castle and to unveil the first otter sculpture. This is a unique project and the first of its kind in any National Park. The funds raised will open up a multitude of conservation and educational opportunities and help us to ensure the park is accessible for everyone.”
Dave Southern, Project Manager for the Moor Otters campaign added: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have received 140 artist submissions from across the UK and choosing 100 was a tough decision for the panel but we’re really excited about our final designs and it was great to meet many of our artists at the event.
“We hope the Moor Otters campaign will help people understand that wonderful spaces such as Dartmoor National Park require crucial and specialist conservation to maintain the stunning landscape and protect the wildlife. The money raised from the project will help to ensure this fantastic work continues.
“We’d like to thank everyone who has supported the campaign so far and encourage any other regional businesses that may wish to sponsor an otter or get involved in the project to get in touch.”
For further information visit www.moorotters.co.uk.