Jill BarklemA sculpture inspired by a series of iconic children’s books is to feature in the largest free public art trail ever to take place in the North East, this autumn.

From 19 September to 29 November, the streets, parks and open spaces of Tyneside, Sunderland and Gateshead will play host to a trail of 60 large and 100 mini Snowdogs.

The Great North Snowdogs, inspired by The Snowman™ and The Snowdog, by Raymond Briggs, is the brainchild of creative producers Wild in Art, in partnership with Newcastle-based charity, St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice, which provides short breaks and respite for North East young people with incurable conditions and help and support for their families and loved ones.

Each of the larger, 1.5m high sculptures will be individually designed by artists and celebrities and, among the illustrated Snowdogs, which will only be unveiled once the trail opens to the public, is a design inspired by the world famous Brambly Hedge books.

Created by author and illustrator Jill Barklem, the eight books, which have sold more than six million copies and been translated into 13 languages, detail the lives and adventures of a community of mice who live in fictional Brambly Hedge.

Now, a patchwork quilt, which features in one of Jill’s later books, Poppy’s Babies, published in 1994, has provided the theme for one of the Great North Snowdogs.

The outline of her design will be painstakingly applied to the three dimensional Snowdog before being carefully hand painted, in line with Jill’s original artwork, by Sunderland-based artist, Corinne Lewis-Ward.

When the trail closes on 29 November, there will be one final opportunity to see all the large Snowdogs together at a farewell Weekend event before the sculptures are auctioned to raise funds for St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice.

“We are all thrilled Jill’s design has been chosen by Great North Snowdogs as part of the trail and we know Corinne will do a superb job,” said Jill’s daughter Lizzie Barklem, who is currently re-launching the brand for a new generation of children.

“St Oswald’s Hospice works tirelessly to improve the lives of adults and children with life limiting conditions and we are so pleased that Jill’s design will help to make a financial contribution to the amazing work they do.”

For further information, visit www.greatnorthsnowdogs.co.uk or call 0191 285 0063.