INCREDIBLE creepy crawlies were coming out to play in Ellesmere at the weekend.

Together with other fantastical creations, they were made by Fizzgigs, Ellesmere’s Community Arts Group. as part of the Magical Plantation Trail.

They will take up residence along the paths and in the trees of a 2.7 hectare mature broad-leaved woodland on Sandy Lane, under half a mile from the town centre.

"We are all very excited about the installation of the fabulous beasts this coming weekend, with the official opening on Sunday, July 25," said Anna Hayes, member of Fizzgigs and creator of a Squiggly Wiggly Snake.

Other recent additions to the menagerie of marvellous creatures are a Harlequin Hawk, a caterpillar and Lizzie the Dragon.

"They will be set off by the flurry of fantastic Fizzgigs owls, made by members of the community."

Chairman Ian Andrew added: "We wanted to wave a magic wand over this special community asset. Families enjoyed our celebration of spring installation over the first May Bank Holiday weekend. As well as a towering, garlanded figure of spring – Primavera – there were over 60 sprites cavorting around her.

"Enthusiastic reactions spurred us on to this new venture."

Mary Lewery had the concept of one of those sprites meeting up with her glorious dragon, Lizzie.

"Visitors can decide whether or not the meeting is a friendly one," she said.

"I doubt Lizzie will actually devour Sophie Sprite, though."

Visitors should bring a pencil with them to wander the footpaths through The Plantation. An information leaflet has been produced and there are brief descriptions of each of the large installations and children (and big kids, too) can mark off when they discover each art-work.

There will be a chance to enter a Fizzgigs competition by taking a photo, painting a picture of writing a poem about your favourite creature - there will be a prize for the one the group thinks is the best.

All details of how to enter will be on the information leaflet which can be picked up at the entrance to The Plantation or on the Fizzgigs’ website – Competition entries are invited right up to the end of the installation, towards the end of the school summer holidays.

Pip Elms, member of the Plantation Wood volunteering group, added: "We are all excited about this unusual venture.

"The Plantation is already popular with locals, providing a special link between the Mere and the Llangollen Canal. We hope the trail will encourage visitors to linger longer, and appreciate the natural beauty as well as all these amazing creations."

She added that paths might not be suitable for some children’s pushchairs or wheelchairs and that parking was available at the Mere and Castle Mound car parks.

Further information is available on the Fizzgigs’ website at