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Trail of ducks mooted for Felixstowe following pigs and elephants success in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 07:30 08 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:23 08 October 2020

One of the 20 ducks that were placed around Liverpool in 2015. Picture: ANDREW BOWDEN/FLICKR

One of the 20 ducks that were placed around Liverpool in 2015. Picture: ANDREW BOWDEN/FLICKR

Andrew Bowden/Flickr

Ideas for an Elmer the Elephant or Pigs Gone Wild-style trail for Felixstowe and the peninsula have been floated as a possibility for the future.

The idea has been voiced by Felixstowe artist Victoria Petchey and town and district councillor Mark Jepson to consider a trail of ducks that would help engage people with art publicly and encourage them to explore the area, as well as provide a free activity for families to do.

MORE: Pigs Gone Wild trail launched in Ipswich

While the idea is only a conceptual one and in the very early stages of being looked at, it is thought it could have some key benefits for the resort.

Mr Jepson said: “Victoria’s initial idea was why don’t we have something like a duck – water based and easy to develop. It’s easier to make a mould for a duck apparently, and her main aim and passion was to introduce more art within Felixstowe in a quirky way, and perhaps have these ducks located in different parts of Felixstowe.

“The whole point is that although it is a potentially expensive project, money can be raised from sponsorship from local companies or raising money for local charity.

The Duck Trails In Liverpool - could Felixstowe get a similar trail in the future? Picture: RUARAIDH GILLIES/FLICKRThe Duck Trails In Liverpool - could Felixstowe get a similar trail in the future? Picture: RUARAIDH GILLIES/FLICKR

“There can be huge benefits in terms of Victoria’s view of promoting art, promoting exercise, getting people out exploring the town and parks, getting involved some of the parishes to get people visiting some of the parishes as well.”

The idea was presented to East Suffolk Council’s Felixstowe Peninsula Community Partnership forum comprising local councillors, town and parish councils and other leaders in the community, in order to get feedback on the idea and directions in which it could develop. It was felt more concrete proposals and ideas of costs and sponsorship interest would be needed before any kind of further support could be given.

MORE: Community partnerships launched across East Suffolk

The early proposals suggest there could be around 20 full-size ducks based on the mould for a similar trail in Liverpool several years ago, and sponsorship would be invited from local businesses.

The ducks would then be auctioned off at the end of the trail to raise money for charity.

PIgs Gone Wild was a popular addition to Ipswich. Picture: SIMON PARKERPIgs Gone Wild was a popular addition to Ipswich. Picture: SIMON PARKER

It has also been linked to the Art on the Prom event, having the ducks around the town over the summer and culminating in the Art on the Prom display for the first weekend of September.

Much like Elmer’s Big Parade and Pigs Gone Wild in Ipswich, it would also feature involvement with schools and community groups.

County councillor Graham Newman said: “The more I think about it the more I think it would be fantastic if we could combine this with Art on the Prom because with Art on the Prom in September, it means we could have the whole of August looking at our ducks and being on duck viewing tours across the town.

Felixstowe Mayor and district councillor Mark Jepson said the duck trail was only a concept idea but could be good for the town. Picture: FELIXSTOWE TOWN COUNCILFelixstowe Mayor and district councillor Mark Jepson said the duck trail was only a concept idea but could be good for the town. Picture: FELIXSTOWE TOWN COUNCIL

“It would be of huge interest to Suffolk people, and certainly Ipswich people, as well as ourselves, and it would fulfil many functions really.”

MORE: Elmer the Elephant trail succeeds Pigs Gone Wild in Ipswich

However, the committee agreed that given the cost implications it would need assessing further, and would not want to tie up funds which could be used on supporting efforts recovering from Covid-19.

County councillor Stuart Bird said he had “grave reservations” about whether it would raise enough money for charity given the costs involved, while East Suffolk Council leader Steve Gallant said he wanted to see more evidence that it would deliver against the committee’s priorities.

Would you like to see a duck trail around Felixstowe? Or do you think there are other priorities for the town? Share your thoughts by emailing the newsroom here.

Elmer elephants succeeded pigs for a trail around Ipswich in 2019.  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDElmer elephants succeeded pigs for a trail around Ipswich in 2019. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

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