What is happening now
The Otter Wey Trail is coming towards the end of its time. The otters have been on display around the town for nearly two months and were brought together for Farnham Carnival on 30th May
During the Carnival, members of the public were asked to vote for their favourite otter. The overall winner of this was "The King", the otter painted by for Pullingers. The winner for the schools and community projects was "Prancer" designed and decorated by Folly Hill School. Prancer will now return to Folly Hill School and will not be in the Auction on 9th July. To see all the otters click here and go to the Otter Gallery.
The winner of the Otter Trail competiton was also announced at the Carnival. This was a competition open to people who followed the Otter Wey Trail and found at least 20 of the otter names. There were hundreds of entries, the most Farnham Town Council has had for any similar event. The luck winner was George K (full name withheld) and he and his family will be presented with the Farnham In Bloom otter, "Sunny the Blooming Otter" at the Auction on 9th July. Congratulations to George and all those who took part.
Sunny the Blooming Otter will be doing additional duty by being presented to the judges from South East In Bloom when they come to see the town in July.
more about the Otter Wey Trail
The Otter Wey was an art trail made up of 1 metre tall model otters, which were decorated by participants and were exhibited around Farnham. The art trail is the inspiration of Mike Hodge (Mayor of Farnham 2017/18) and was run by Blooming Art, supported by Farnham Town Council and our major sponsor, Farnham Lions. 44 otters were produced for the trail and were on display in May and June. Maps of the trail were published both in paper form and on line and there was a competition open to all that required entrants to find the names of at least 20 otters. Hundreds took part and submitted entries. On 30th June all the otters were together as a Romp of Otters for Farnham Carnival in Gostrey Meadows. Then on 9th June they will go on auction at Farnham Castle. There will be a "silent auction" before that date.
The otters have been decorated by a mix of professional, amateur and community group artists and sponsored by local businesses and community organisations, thus enabling further collaboration between artists, makers, community groups and local businesses to create a wonderful temporary open air art gallery in the midst of Farnham Craft Town. You can see all the otters on "Follow the Otters"
Otters in particular were chosen following evidence of their return to the River Wey presented by Surrey Wildlife Trust. The river is an important spine for Farnham, forming a wildlife corridor through the centre of town, linking important green spaces such as Bishop's Meadow, Gostrey Meadows and Borrelli Walk, as well as forming part of Farnham's celebrated industrial heritage, firmly rooted in the creative industries.
The Otter Wey has reached all parts of our community. We have involved local schools , voluntary groups and businesses. Some participants have chosen to use the project as a collective work, designing and executing it by themselves, but others have involved a professional artist to assist them in their production or to create an otter for them. This project has provided the opportunity for disparate groups to come together, and also allowed those taking part to develop their own creative skills and present them to a wide public showcase at venues such as public and historic buildings, local businesses and in the local landscape.
The trail has enable us to welcome thousands of visitors to the Town, not just to explore the Otter Wey Trail, but to explore the other projects, businesses and creative industries the town has to offer.
The trail has reached wide, familiar and new audiences through publicity from each of the artists, sponsors and community groups all promoting the events, partnerships and decorated otters through press and social media, spreading to a national audience.
The culmination of the Trail will be an auction of the sculptures on 9th July 2018, with all proceeds being placed back into the local community. The beneficiaries will be charities chosen by the Town Mayor, Mike Hodge: The Woodlarks Centre and The Gostrey Brightwells Community Centre.