16th June 2021
‘Wait a Minnow’ Kingfisher flies into BoA
A stunning kingfisher sculpture ‘Wait a Minnow’ is currently on display in Westbury Garden outside our Explore BoA Tourist Information Centre. The kingfisher, whose ‘plumage’ has been designed by artist Tracy Spiers, is part of the Kingfisher Trail organised by Cotswolds National Landscape and was today visited by the Mayor of Bradford on Avon, Cllr Sarah Gibson (pictured below).
The Kingfisher Trail is a sculpture trail taking place across the whole of the Cotswolds region this summer. Launched on 31st May and running into early October, organisers say:
“The trail provides a unique way for people to connect with nature and the great outdoors in 2021. It’s for everyone, so residents and visitors are all invited to join in with this accessible, fun and free activity.
The kingfisher has been chosen based on its reputation as a resilient and adaptable bird – characteristics shared with the communities and businesses the trail seeks to support as we all begin to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.”
With the trail recently featuring in Cotswold Life Magazine, many of the exciting artists involved in the trail are based in and around the Cotswolds. You can find out more about them all on the official trail website here: https://www.kingfishertrail.org/artists
Most of the sculptures remain in situ throughout the trail, but ‘Wait a Minnow’, the special ‘Flying Kingfisher’, tours a number of locations for two week blocks incorporating hosts at the southern Avon Valley end of the Cotswolds.
On the current visit the sculpture will be in Bradford on Avon until 27th June, returning again to coincide with the August Bank Holiday; 23rd August – 6th September having been sponsored by the Town Council earlier this year.
Cllr Sarah Gibson said:
“I am really thrilled to see ‘Wait a Minnow’ land in Bradford on Avon for this first of two fortnights that the Town Council has sponsored. It’s absolutely stunning and really worth a visit, whether you live in the town or are just passing through.”
A special ‘Golden Kingfisher’ is also on display locally at Iford Manor throughout the length of the trail, and an opportunity to win it will be announced by them soon.
If you’d like to take part in the trail there’s lots more information on the Kingfisher Trail website https://www.kingfishertrail.org as well as an App available to download on IOS and Android. It’s a great way to get out and explore places both near and further afield, with the fun mission of seeing all of the kingfishers as you go!
To celebrate the kingfishers arrival, in an added nod to our town’s famous real kingfishers, Cllr Alex Kay and community member Paige Balais have also made and donated some kingfisher bunting, which Town Council officers have today put up in the Shambles.
And for kingfisher enthusiasts, inside our Tourist Information Centre,
you will find photographic prints for sale by local wildlife photographer Alan Benson, who can often be spotted alongside an ever growing number of photographers on the banks of our beautiful river, waiting for these majestic birds to grace their viewfinders!
‘Wait a Minnow’ – About the Artist:
Tracy Spiers is an illustrator and writer, exploring the historical heritage and identity of places in a playful, engaging way. On her design, Tracy says:
“I am an illustrator and writer who is passionate about helping others reconnect with childlike wonder and playfulness, which we often forget we have. Having worked as a journalist for over 30 years, my projects usually start with a play on words or pun. So, when PJ Crook asked me to be part of this wonderful trail, ‘Wait a Minnow,’ immediately came to mind.
I knew from previous research that this small, elusive bird eats its weight in minnow every day, but it also has to wait patiently in order to catch the fish. We too have to wait more than a few minutes if we want to spot the kingfisher’s amazing flash of electric blue.
My colourful punny kingfisher is full of grumpy fish – and a few that got away. On the front are references to weight and scales; on the back are hints at time and clocks with a few more fun fish puns.
My lovely mother-in-law Gill died of the cruel illness, Motor Neurone Disease in January 2020.
Her favourite bird was the kingfisher and she would often get up early to watch them along the banks of the River Avon near her home in Evesham. I have been running for over 35 years and love pounding the canal and river banks, at one with nature. On the anniversary of her death, I ran parallel to a flying kingfisher. It was magical. My bright cheerful kingfisher is a tribute to her. I hope it makes you smile!”
Photos of ‘Wait a Minnow’ in Westbury Garden plus detail shots, the ‘Golden Kingfisher’ at Iford Manor and kingfisher bunting in the Shambles by Lydia Booth Photography
Photo of the artist Tracy Spiers courtesy of the Kingfisher Trail