If you go down to the park today you’re sure of a big surprise as ParkLives Birmingham teams up with The Big Sleuth – a bear-themed art project – to bring fun, free, family activities to Birmingham parks.

The Big Sleuth project is a public art trail that displays 100 sculptures of endangered sun bears, each customised by a different artist. The bear sculptures can be seen across the West Midlands, from the centre of Birmingham to Solihull, Dudley and Sutton Coldfield.

To celebrate the launch of The Big Sleuth project, ParkLives is offering free walking and cycle trails to see the bears, which include:

  • Guided cycle ride: a gentle family trail to Sandwell Valley Park to find ‘Big Sleuth’ bears – Perry Hall Park, Saturdays until 16th September
  • Orienteering trail: a fun, family-friendly challenge to figure out clues to find ‘Big Sleuth’ bears – Handsworth Park, Sundays until 17th September; and Perry Hall Park, Saturdays until 16th September
  • Big Sleuth walk: a leisurely guided walk followed by a teddy bear’s picnic – Sutton Park, 9th and 23rd August
  • Yogi Bear sessions: lively yoga-dance for all ages – Eastside Park, 17th and 24th August.

Now in its fourth year in Birmingham, ParkLives runs in 10 cities nationwide and is part of a £20 million commitment by Coca-Cola Great Britain to invest in community-based programmes. Activities are delivered in conjunction with Birmingham City Council, and are designed to bring friends and families together to have fun in their local parks.

Gaynor Roberts, ParkLives programme manager at Birmingham City Council, said: “The Big Sleuth sculptures are creating a real stir in Birmingham, bringing so much colour and variety to our city. The new bear-themed ParkLives sessions will be a really fun way for families to visit and admire the bear sculptures while also making the most of their local park.”

Liz Lowe, ParkLives lead at Coca-Cola Great Britain, said: “ParkLives activities are designed to give families and friends a great excuse to get out and explore the fantastic green spaces we have right on our doorsteps.

“The bear theme of our new sessions makes them extra-exciting for families with children. But whether you’re into cycling, walking or simply enjoying a picnic in the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone.”

Visit to reserve your free place on one of the Big Sleuth orienteering trails or other activities. Alternatively, you can also find out what’s on near you using The Big Sleuth app, which you can download on the App Store or Google Play for £1.99.

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