First cele-bear-ity bear announced for the Big Sleuth

Britain’s best-known ‘Bear’ has announced he’ll be putting his own stamp on Birmingham’s second mass-participation, public art trail, The Big Sleuth.

Iconic explorer, Bear Grylls has teamed up with Retail Birmingham, the organisation which represents retailers in the city centre, to design one of the 165cm tall bear sculptures set to leave their paw prints all over Bear-mingham next summer.

The Big Sleuth, so named because a group of bears is called a sleuth, is the highly-anticipated sequel to The Big Hoot, delivered by Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and creative producers Wild in Art.

Up to 100 of the stunning sculptures will appear across Birmingham, and its surrounding areas, for 10 weeks from July 2017. At the end of the trail, the bears will be auctioned off with all proceeds going to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. Last year’s event raised more than £500,000 for the charity’s Star Appeal to fund the UK’s first Rare Diseases Centre for children.

Famed for his role as Chief Scout and wilderness TV shows, and with an upcoming live arena tour ‘Endeavour’, Bear is the first cele-bear-ity to put paw to paper and show his support for The Big Sleuth. 

Born Edward Michael Grylls, Bear was given the nickname by his older sister when he was just one week old. He said: “I am proud to be involved with The Big Sleuth and I’m much looking forward to creating a fun and interesting Sun Bear design to support the world-class work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Steve Hewlett, Retail BID manager, said: “The Big Sleuth will be extremely popular with millions of residents and visitors and it’s important for businesses to get involved to help raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. The care they provide for children in our city and throughout the UK is very special.

“Having the legendary adventurer and Chief Scout Bear Grylls as our first celebrity bear is brilliant and we look forward to working with him on his fantastic design, which we are sure will be hugely popular on the trail.”

Last year’s The Big Hoot attracted more than 800,000 visitors and involved more than 25,000 school children. As well as the large bears, this year’s learning programme will see smaller sculptures seek to engage children and young people both inside and outside of schools, such as the many girl guides and scout groups around the country.

Louise McCathie, Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, added: “We are absolutely delighted to have Bear Grylls and Retail Birmingham involved in The Big Sleuth. This project is incredibly important to us at the hospital as we know it will encourage residents and tourists to get active, enjoy being outdoors and explore parts of city they may not have been to before.”

The Big Sleuth is currently looking for artists and corporate sponsors from around the region to come forward and help get the project off to a roaring start. Sponsorship packages are available from £6,000.

For more information on the project and details of how to get involved visit

For more information on Bear Grylls: Endeavour presented by Land Rover, visit



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