The Derby Ram Trail was a spectacular free discovery trail, featuring 30 unique ram sculptures that brightened the streets of Derby between 27 May and 25 August 2021. It was brought to the city by Derby Museums, in partnership with Wild in Art and Derby’s Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID).
The free sculpture trail invited people to find 30 colourful rams dotted around the city centre, all sponsored by local organisations and businesses. It encouraged people to get back into their communities, to explore new areas and to support local businesses, putting Derby Museums in the vanguard of the city’s recovery after lockdown.
The rams were all designed and hand-painted by artists, with varied designs capturing aspects of Derby, Derbyshire and the wider world. Visitors used trail maps and a special app, developed by trail partner Bloc Digital, to navigate their way around the city, discovering Derby’s open spaces and cultural heritage along the way.
A Schools’ Mini Ram Trail took place at Derby Museum and Art Gallery alongside the main trail, comprising 30 mini rams designed and decorated by Derby schoolchildren.
After 12 weeks, the herd of sculptures came together for a special Ram-union weekend, giving everyone a last chance to see them all together. The rams then took centre stage at a glittering auction, hosted by celebrity auctioneer Charles Hanson, which saw all 30 ram sculptures auctioned off to raise an impressive £172,000 for Derby Museums’ Endowment Fund (doubled to 344,000 with match funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund).
The Derby Ram Trail is estimated to have attracted close to 120,000 visitors during its three-month run, including Derbyshire locals and visitors from across the UK and internationally. A legacy app, enabling people to continue navigating the trail via mobile to find 3D virtual images of the rams in their original positions, continues to be available as a way for residents and visitors to interact with the city. Thirteen of the 15 rams that remained on public display after the trail can also still be spotted around Derby.
The summary of a report, detailing the positive impact of the Derby Ram Trail, is available to read here.
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