The former Mayor of Farnham Councillor Mike Hodge turned walk leader on Sunday when 27 people joined him for a guided tour of the Otter Wey Trail community art project.

Councillor Hodge led the walkers on the seven-mile trek in search of 44, one-metre tall otters, which have been decorated by a range of artists and sponsored by local businesses and organisations. The Otter Wey trail is a fundraising project that was adopted by Councillor Hodge to raise money for Woodlarks and Brightwells Gostrey Centre, which were the charities he supported as Mayor.

Speaking after the walk, Councillor Hodge said: “We had a most enjoyable walk and it was a pleasure to welcome people from Farnham and surrounding villages, Woking, Guildford and Aldershot. Everyone enjoyed each other’s company and bonded well.

“The trail took a little longer than expected but a dozen or so stayed until the very end as they were determined to seek out all the otters so they could find their names and enter the competition to win the Farnham in Bloom otter.

“At the end of the walk, we all enjoyed a well-deserved drink and talked about the otter trail experience. Everyone agreed that the quality of work and imagination that went into creating the otters was truly amazing and a sight to behold. Others remarked that they had discovered parts of Farnham that they never knew existed. All in all, the walk was a great success.”

The otters will be on display until Friday 29 June so there is still time for people to take part in the self-guided walk and to enter the competition to win an otter. The otter trail leaflet and details about the project can be found on the Farnham Town Council website. The leaflet can also be picked up from Farnham Town Council’s office or from the places where the otters are located.

Alternatively, people can see the otters when they gather for one last time at Gostrey Meadow on Saturday 30 June, which is the day of Farnham Carnival. There will be an opportunity for visitors to vote for their favourite otter, and the school or community group receiving the most votes will be given their otter as a prize.

The Otter Wey project will end on 9 July when some of the otters are auctioned off at Farnham Castle. Anybody wishing to place a bid in advance of the auction can download the auction bidding form from the Farnham Town Council website. All money raised will go to Woodlarks and Brightwells Gostrey Centre.

The Otter Wey community art project has been run by Farnham Lions and Blooming Arts. Additional support has been given by the Farnham South Street Trust and the Farnham Institute charities.

Councillor Mike Hodge thanks the following for their generous involvement in the Otter Wey project:

  • The Farnham Lions
  • Blooming Arts
  • The Hedgehogs
  • Kidd Rapinet Solicitors
  • The South Street Trust
  • The Farnham Pottery
  • The Surrey Wildlife Trust
  • The Farnham Institute
  • Farnham Castle
  • BBS
  • TechMarketView LLP
  • Farnham Round Table
  • Farnham Chamber of Commerce. and
  • All the community groups, schools and businesses that created wonderful otters.
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