Complete guide to Cows about Cambridge 2021: All you need to enjoy city’s huge art trail
Cows about Cambridge brings 90 colourful cow sculptures to the city for you to discover.
The Cambridge Independent is proud to be the media partner and we’ve published a 10-page guide in the issue available in the shops from June 23-29.
Here are the key things you need to know.
When does Cows about Cambridge run?
Cows about Cambridge runs from Monday, June 28 until Saturday, September 4, 2021.
This trail was originally intended to go live in the spring of 2020 but due to the pandemic it was put on hold until now.
What can I see on the art trail?
There are 44 large cow sculptures and 46 mini moos, each with a bespoke reference number, and the challenge is to find them all.
The trail is designed to inform, entertain, enrich and encourage conversation, leaving a lasting legacy for the city and for the children’s charity, Break.
Look out for designs that cover a range of topics including children’s stories, environmental issues, mental health and innovations in science. Many pay homage to Cambridge connections from famous landmarks to the history of football originating in the city, as well as famous alumni from the universities.
Some of the mini moos are in clusters, and they can be found in shops, malls and cultural venues – and most of the large cow sculptures are outside in a variety of beautiful and iconic locations around the city.
The artists who have designed the sculptures have used a range of techniques including added surface design, paint effects, mosaic tiles, pennies and even bottle tops.
How do I follow the trail?
You can use one of the printed or online maps, or download the app.
Look out for a trail map in the Cambridge Independent - we’ve published one in the issue out from June 23-29, and we’ll publish another in the issue available in the shops from June 30-July 6. Featuring the locations of all the large cows and mini moos, it’s a great way to plan what you want to see.
You can also use this interactive trail map - click on an icon and you’ll see a picture of the cow that can be found there, along with the artist or group that decorated it and the sponsor.
Trail maps like the one below will also be available to pick up as the trail goes live - and you will be able to tick them off as you visit them.
Maps can be picked up at shopping centres, locations where the mini moos are grazing, and the Museum of Zoology as a starting point.
You can also download the map here.
Or you use the udderly brilliant Cows about Cambridge app.
What’s on the Cows about Cambridge app - and what are the rewards?
The Cows about Cambridge app allows you to unlock the sculptures, collect rewards and count your steps on the pedometer!
It will be available from Monday June 28 and can be purchase this from the Apple app store or Google Play for £1.99.
You’ll also be able to enjoy the community photo gallery to share your best shots of the sculptures.
There are also milestone rewards giving you an added opportunity to engage with the trail. These are varied and range from family discount vouchers, travel offers, free art and craft activities, competitions, a £5 Love Cambridge gift card and discounted cycle hire, to name a few.
There is also a very popular offer of a free gin cocktail from the Hilton Cambridge and some fundraising incentives for Break, where every unlock on Penny and Moodle Yoodle gives a donation of £1 to the charity, thanks to the support from C Hoare & Co and Cambridge Assessment.
From each app purchase, 25 per cent of the net profit is donated to Break (registered charity number 286650).
When can I visit?
Most of the cows can be visited 24/7 but there are some that are located inside buildings or shopping centres. For opening times please check at cowsaboutcambridge.co.uk.
Who created the cows?
Artists from around the region and further afield have come together with leading businesses to create the colourful and thoughtful designs on the large cow sculptures.
Meanwhile, school pupils and community groups from across the county showcased their artistic talents and ideas on the mini moos.
You can find out who created each cow on the trail maps, on the app, and by visiting them.
The cow sculpture was created specifically for Cambridge, inspired by the rare Red Poll cattle that have been part of everyday life in the city, from Grantchester to Midsummer Common, for hundreds of years.
The cow, designed by Chris Wilkinson, Wild in Art’s creative director, forms a 3D canvas for artists to create a story, encourage discussion or simply enjoy the aesthetic.
Who’s behind the art trail?
Cows about Cambridge has been created by global public art producers Wild in Art, together with children’s charity Break and principal partner, Cambridge Business Improvement District (BID) – and official travel partner Thameslink.
Wild in Art has been animating cities across the globe since 2008, enabling millions of people of all ages to experience art in non-traditional settings – bringing joy and smiles to all.
Charlie Langhorne, managing director and co-founder, Wild in Art, said: “We’re delighted that Cows about Cambridge is finally here. Wild in Art would like to thank everybody who has supported this important project. The contribution from our partners and sponsors, artists, schools and communities is at the very core of the success of Cows about Cambridge, and for that we are immensely grateful.”
This project brings together our whole community, including businesses sponsoring and hosting cows, to local artists, schools and community groups who have worked together to design and decorate the cows.
Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID, said: “When we first met Wild in Art and Break, we were determined this project was about Cambridge residents, artists, schools and businesses, coming together to deliver the largest public art event the city has ever seen – probably the single biggest physical activity event the city has hosted, and we are just so pleased to finally see our vision being delivered.”
Tom Moran, managing director of Thameslink and Great Northern, pictured, added: “Thameslink are proud to be the official travel partner of Cows about Cambridge. We serve the people of Cambridge and the surrounding areas every day, and to support the city post-pandemic with this fantastic trail is a great way to celebrate travel as it opens. We’re really keen to build partnerships with the local community and local businesses to rebuild the visitor economy within Cambridge.”
What happens if we find a cow sculpture that looks a little pail?
There is always a chance that a cow may get damaged and if this happens, please call 01223 458282 (Monday-Friday 9am-5.15pm) or 0300 303 8389 (out of hours).
Please include details of the cow name, location and the damage detail. Thank moo!
What are the Covid restrictions?
Please help us to ensure that everyone can enjoy Cows about Cambridge safely by maintaining a safe distance, wearing a face covering when appropriate and being respectful to other trail visitors.
Are there any rail offers?
‘Kids for £2’ enables up to four children travelling with each fare-paying adult, when travelling together, to travel for £2 each at off-peak or super off-peak times on most journeys across the Southern, Thameslink & Great Northern network.
What is the hashtag?
Share your images of yourself with the cows on social media using #CowsaboutCambridge – and don’t forget to tag in @CowsaboutCambs and @CambridgeIndy on Twitter or @cowsaboutcambridge and @cambridgeindependent on Instagram.
How will Cows about Cambridge raise money for charity?
As well as 25 per cent of the profits from sales of the app benefiting the children’s charity Break, an auction of cows at the end of the trail will raise vital funds.
Break believes that whatever a child’s start in life, with the right support there’s no limit to what they can achieve. The charity helps children and young people find the courage, strength, and hope they need to live happy and successful lives.
When will the cows be auctioned off?
The charity auction will be held on Thursday, September 23 at The Graduate Hotel, where all 40 large sculptures will be auctioned off to raise money for Break. This spectacular event will be hosted by Charles Hanson, pictured, the TV celebrity auctioneer from shows including Bargain Hunt and Flog It!
Register interest, view the catalogue and bid at cowsaboutcambridge.co.uk/auction from June 28. Follow Cows about Cambridge on social media for updates.