A bit of a hoot at Riverside.

Crest Nicholson’s Bath Riverside development has welcomed some new temporary residents in the form of 82 decorated owls.

The colourful creature creations have taken up residence in the ground floor of Royal View for the coming weeks as they undergo careful restoration work by their artists ahead of their big moment at auction in October.

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A photo of some of the owls alongside James Richards, Site Manager at Crest Nicholson and Megan Witty, organiser of the Minerva’s Owls.

The owls have become a familiar sight throughout Bath and surrounding areas over the summer, with individual businesses sponsoring and displaying them around the city. People of all ages have taken part in the trail to find all of the owls, with thousands of photos and selfies being snapped along the way.

The Minerva Owls project is thought to have provided a raft of benefits for Bath including a boost to local tourism and overnight stays, as well as increased footfall around quieter parts of the city.

All profits from the public art event will be donated to four local charities – Royal United Hospital Cancer Centre, Bath Young Carers Centre, Roman Baths Archway Project and UK Little Owl Project. The Minerva’s Owls Charity Auction is set to take place on Wednesday 17th October in the Apex Hotel.

Bath Riverside’s very own ‘Nocturnowl’, sponsored by Crest Nicholson has been well received by residents and visitors alike since it took up its post adjacent to Victoria Bridge in May.

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Senior Projects Director for Crest Nicholson Regeneration, Neil Dawtrey, said, “There has been a fantastic response to Nocturnowl. Over the summer holidays we have seen hundreds of people come to Bath Riverside to find the sculpture and explore this new residential quarter.

“Minerva’s Owls has done a great job in promoting all areas of the city and brought more people here to experience Bath Riverside for themselves. We’re pleased to be in a position to offer this temporary space to house the owls as they get prepared for auction.”

Megan Witty, organiser of the Minerva’s Owls of Bath event, added, “We would like to thank Crest Nicholson for providing this fantastic ‘nest’ for the owls over the coming weeks. Public arts events rely heavily on the involvement of the community and it’s great to see businesses and people coming together to raise much-needed money for important local causes.”

For those wanting to catch a glimpse of all of the owls together, tickets are now on sale for the Minerva’s Owls of Bath Hoot Farewell weekend, giving owl fans a chance to see all 82 owl and owlet sculptures together before the charity auction. The owls will all be gathered together in one giant ‘parliament’ at the Bath Recreation Ground on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th September.

The Owls of Bath 2018 charity auction will be held at the Apex Hotel on Wednesday 17th October. Tickets cost £37.50+VAT and include a champagne reception, tapas-style savoury dishes, a trio of desserts, cheese and fruit platter, chocolates, coffee/tea and an auction catalogue.

For more details about the Hoot Farewell and auction, visit https://minervasowls.org/