GoGoDiscover is Back! With a Mammoth Twist...

28 June 2022

Enjoy this year’s GoGoDiscover sculpture trail with a mammoth twist!

The GoGoDiscover trail is certainly a highlight in the city’s annual calendar. Some might say it’s always a roar-ing success. And this year, it’s back and bigger than ever! Here, we speak to charity Break, who run the trail, about what we can expect this summer…

It’s a mammoth task. 50 artists, 79 sculptures and two years in the making.

Yet, after much anticipation, this summer sees the arrival of the GoGoDiscover sculpture trail, bringing a prehistoric posse of 55 T.rex and 24 Steppe Mammoth sculptures to stomp across the streets of Norwich and Norfolk.

From Monday 27 June until Saturday 10 September, the GoGoDiscover trail sculptures – each uniquely decorated by artists from Norfolk and across the country – will be on display for trailgoers to locate.

One of the T.rex sculptures part of the GoGoDiscover trail

The GoGoDiscover T.rex Trail was a roaring success in 2021

The T.rex sculptures will be stationed around Norwich city centre, with the cretaceous creatures set to appear at popular sites including Chantry Place, Norwich Cathedral, The Forum, Jarrold, Castle Quarter and beside Norwich Market.

Joining them is a humongous herd of 24 Steppe Mammoths, which will appear outwards from the city centre in towns and tourist hotspots such as King’s Lynn, Cromer Pier, Holkham, Carrow Road, the Norfolk Broads, Hemsby and Pensthorpe.

'Elio' by Lena Kibbler

‘Elio’ by Lena Kibbler. Credit: RMG Photography.

Norfolk’s mammoth connections

According to Dr David Waterhouse of Norfolk Museums, “Norfolk is one of the best places in the world to find evidence of Steppe Mammoths”.

This is because Norfolk’s coast is packed with a sandwich of 70-90million year old chalk and sediment aged at between five and half a million years old. During the last Ice Age, ice sheets pushed and contorted thousands of tonnes of rock and sediment on top of the chalk, meaning that after every high tide there’s an ever-changing landscape of ancient shells, sea sponges, and mammoth plus other giant animal fossils to be found. Add to this more extreme weather and the shoreline is eroded with evermore vigour, revealing fossils that haven’t been seen for millions of years.

An illustration of how Norfolk would have looked when Steppe Mammoths roamed there around 700,000 years ago

An illustration of how Norfolk would have looked when Steppe Mammoths roamed there around 700,000 years ago. Credit: Norfolk Museums Service.

North Norfolk’s Deep History Coast has uncovered rare finds such a near complete mammoth skeleton, extinct rhinos, bears and bison, fossilised sea creatures and the earliest evidence of humans in Britain.

Why Steppe Mammoths?

Steppe Mammoths would have roamed southern and eastern parts of the British Isles, back when Great Britain was connected to mainland Europe.

Steppe Mammoths are ancestors to the Woolly Mammoth but quite different in size and shape. It was probably the largest species of elephant ever to have lived, weighing in at approximately ten tonnes and standing at least four metres high at the shoulder.

Norfolk sculptor, Sally Adams, was responsible for creating the prototype sculpture for this year’s trail under guidance of David at Norfolk Museums. Sally had to create a sculpture which was easily identifiable and loyal to the species (sloping back plus bigger, thicker tusks), while offering a good blank canvas from which the individual designs could come to life.

'Mammoth on Holiday' by Karis Youngman - one of the Mammoth sculptures.

‘Mammoth on Holiday’ by Karis Youngman. Credit: RMG Photography.

Margaret’s Mammoth

One of the mammoths featured in this year’s GoGoDiscover trail is Margaret’s Mammoth, named after Margaret Hems, who discovered the first bone of what would turn out to be the most complete Steppe Mammoth skeleton ever found in Britain at West Runton in 1990.

Excavating the Mammoth in West Runton (c) Norfolk Museums Service

Excavating the Mammoth in West Runton. Credit: Norfolk Museums Service.

Decorated by artist Phil Daniels, Margaret’s Mammoth is a show-stopping sculpture for north Norfolk – a fitting location given the heritage of the Deep History Coast. Margaret’s Mammoth will be located at West Runton and will reaffirm the association between Steppe Mammoths and the Norfolk coastline.

‘Margaret’s Mammoth’ by Phil Daniels. Credit: RMG Photography.

David Waterhouse, from Norfolk Museums, continues: “It’s easier to find bits of mammoth here in Norfolk than in Siberia! It’s all on the beach where people go on holiday and there’s a real charm and accessibility to that. I hope that in GoGoDiscover bringing a herd of Steppe Mammoths to life across Norfolk, we’re opening people’s eyes to the uniqueness of the region and how special this area really is.”

An illustration of how Margaret's Mammoth would have looked (c) Dr David M.G

An illustration of how Margaret’s Mammoth would have looked. Credit: Dr David M.G Waterhouse.

All 79 roar-some creations in the GoGoDiscover trail feature designs in a variety of media, depicting themes such as nature and the environment, equality and diversity, and Norfolk’s rich heritage.  Each one has a story to tell and many of the artists hope to pique interest, raise awareness or inspire onlookers to appreciate the world around them.

GoGoDiscover is delivered by East Anglian charity Break, in partnership with Wild in Art. The project is hoped to raise valuable funds for Break, which makes life better for children and young people who are on the edge of care, in care and leaving care. All support of GoGoDiscover helps to stamp out the mammoth expectations faced by young adults leaving the care system.

'There's No Planet B' by Ali Cottrell

‘There’s No Planet B’ by Ali Cottrell. Credit: RMG Photography.

Trailgoers wanting to locate and identify all 79 of the prehistoric visitors can download the new GoGoDiscover app (£1.79) from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store or pick up a GoGoDiscover trail map (suggested donation £1) from a variety of trail map hubs including The Forum, Holkham, The Royal Arcade, Jarrold, the Pensthorpe gift shop, Duke’s Head Hotel in King’s Lynn, Sea View Café in West Runton and Break retail shops across the county.