Local artists in North Yorkshire have been busy crafting striking pieces of artwork in the hope of encouraging residents in Thirsk to walk or cycle using new pedestrian routes.

The statues, known as The Art Waymakers, were commissioned as part of the planning agreement for Taylor Wimpey’s Lime Gardens development.

The housebuilder collaborated with Vistry Homes to erect the artwork as a continuation of the designs already installed in the area.

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Now, residents in Thirsk welcome The Art Waymakers which have been designed by Kate Maddison of Chrysalis Arts and created by regional artisans, Little Newsham Forge and Aron McCartney.

Pupils at Thirsk School were also called upon to aid with the process of creating fifteen designs based on the elemental sustainability theme of earth, air, fire, water and culture during a community workshop.

The new designs sit across both Taylor Wimpey and Vistry Homes developments to not only delight and intrigue residents, but also to encourage them to walk or cycle.

The positioning of the artwork has been carefully selected and approved by Hambleton District Council and North Yorkshire County Council Highways to provide a clear guide for pedestrians and cyclists, particularly where the routes continue beyond the reach of the road or where pedestrian routes may not otherwise be obvious.

In addition to the Art Waymarkers, Taylor Wimpey North Yorkshire commissioned the Stokesley-based artist Steve Tomlinson to create striking large artwork pieces for the central open spaces of the development.

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Inspired by the local social heritage of the racecourse and the area's natural heritage, Tomlinson's creations – depicting birds and horses – perfectly reflect the heritage and essence of the community. These pieces were carefully erected in April 2023, adding a captivating visual element to the central points of interest within the development.

Scott Robinson, Technical Director at Taylor Wimpey North Yorkshire, said: “We are thrilled to have the artwork installed at the entrance of Lime Gardens.

"It connects the existing Art Waymakers installed in the Mulberry Homes development and highlights the pedestrian route making it easier for the local community to follow."