A family of 30 life-size elephant sculptures will be grazing in the grounds of Sudeley Castle & Gardens when it reopens after lockdown in April 2021.
From Monday 12 April until Monday 31 May 2021, visitors to the historic attraction in Winchcombe will be able to admire the elephant sculptures on its Covid-secure, socially distanced Elephant Parade trail through the castle’s picturesque gardens.
Gloucestershire visitors will be some of the first in the UK to see the sculptures at their residence at Sudeley Castle, before they are transported to London, the USA and other destinations across the world as part of an environmental art campaign called ‘CoExistence’.
The campaign, led by charity Elephant Family, uses indigenous art in green spaces to demonstrate how humans and animals can coexist and highlight the loss of biodiversity as humans take over more of the world’s wild spaces.
The Elephant Family will visit Sudeley Castle first as owner, Lady Ashcombe, has a personal connection to the gentle giants – her late husband’s nephew set up the Elephant Family charity dedicated to saving Asian elephants and their habitats.
Lady Ashcombe said: ‘I am exceptionally honoured to host this very special herd of elephants at Sudeley Castle and open our gardens for the first time in 2021, whilst sharing with our visitors the story of India’s wild elephants.
‘Our large herd are life-sized and modelled on wild Indian elephants, created deep in the jungle of Tamil Nadu, by the Adivasi tribal communities who live in close proximity to their real-life counterparts.
‘My late husband, Lord Ashcombe, whose nephew Mark Shand along with conservationist friends, championed the plight of the Indian elephants and so, giving a temporary home to the herd as they start their global tour, is a fitting memory to both men who loved wildlife and nature.
‘The herd arrives during the annual Easter holidays and we look forward to welcoming visitors to wander through our gardens and meet the wild elephants.’
Sudeley Castle is reopening its gardens and adventure playground to visitors on Monday 12 April 2021, with the Castle Pantry also set to reopen for locally-sourced lunches.
The castle itself is set to reopen on Monday 17 May 2021, in line with current government guidelines.
The Elephant Family will be at Sudeley Castle from Monday 12 April to Monday 31 May 2021. Tickets will need to be pre-booked in advance and go on sale on Thursday 25 March 2021.