Beaumont Park is Huddersfield’s oldest public park, and is one of several within walking distance of my house. As well as some stunning scenery, and views across the valley, it boasts a number of impressive sculptures, installations and themed trails. These have been added to in 2020, albeit later than planned due to the pandemic, firstly with the installation of a series of animal sculptures and interpretation boards, which I visited the week after the trail had been completed.
The trail consists of ten wooden sculptures by Heather Crompton and twelve interpretation boards featuring verses of a poem by Claire Culliford illustrated by Deb Mason. It runs in a loop that starts and ends at the Visitor Centre (ideal for buying bacon butties on a Sunday), and is relatively easy going for most explorers.
When we went, the larger sculptures appeared to be very popular with small visitors, who were busy climbing over, sitting on, or being photographed with, the hedgehog, owl, and badger in particular. I on the other hand was particularly taken with the insects (carved on a stylised log) and the fox, while my friend wants her own version of the frog. There is also a quiz to accompany the trail, although we didn’t pick up a copy of the leaflet until we had arrived back at the Visitor Centre and were queuing for our sandwiches. Future versions of the quiz and trail guide will be in the form of an App rather than a printed leaflet, I’m told.
Coming up in time for Halloween will be a new trail, this time in totally App form with dancing horror characters at various locations in the Park (following on from a similar project to bring virtual dinosaurs into the Park). It’ll be interesting to find out which trail proves the most popular and the longest lasting.