Norwich T-Rex trail brings boost to city high street
- Credit: Ben Hardy
The T-Rex sculptures dotted around Norwich have not just been thrilling children and adults alike, they've also brought a boost for city traders.
A total of 21 dinosaurs have been brightening up the streets of Norwich as part of the GoGoDiscover trail to raise vital funds for East Anglian children's charity Break.
Stefan Gurney, executive director for Norwich Business Improvement District (BID), was enjoying the trail with his two daughters, aged 12 and 10, on Saturday afternoon.
Mr Gurney said the dinosaurs have had a "really positive impact" on the city post-lockdown.
"The trail brings people out and we can see an increase in footfall in specific areas where the T-Rexes are," Mr Gurney said.
With two dinosaurs located in All Saints Green, the Strangers Coffee branch there has benefited from the project with families stopping for a drink when on the trail.
Barista Giles Hayward-Smith said: "It's definitely been helpful. Over the weekend, some families are out in force by 8am and they are constant throughout the day.
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"You see them coming along with trail maps and I have been noticing quite a lot of adults doing it without children. It seems to be for all ages.
"All in all, it has been very good for us as a coffee business and it has increased footfall with adults grabbing a coffee and a hot chocolate for the kiddies."
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The trail will be running until Saturday, September 11 in the city and follows the success of hares, gorillas and dragons in previous years.
Another business which has benefitted from the trail is the Bookbugs and Dragon Tales bookstore in Timber Hill.
The shop has Jurassic displays in its windows to mark the trail and has found sales of dinosaur books have soared.
Co-owner Dan Fridd said: "It's been incredible for us with an increase in people turning up. Some of it is to do with the city coming to life again but a lot of it is to do with the dinosaur trail.
"We have been hosting events like fossil hunting classes and lots around dinosaurs. It is all about adapting in the shops."
'A reason to come into city'
A constant stream of families approaching the T-Rex sculptures could be seen in Norwich on Saturday.
Among those was Chris Jay with his wife and two sons, aged two and five, who he described as being "mad with dinosaurs".
Mr Jay said: "The kids think they are incredible and want to climb all over them so I have to restrain them a bit!
"It's definitely given us a reason to come in which we wouldn't normally do with the hassle of parking and kids. It is a nice excuse to come in, have a look around and grab some lunch."
Also travelling from Ipswich for the trail was five-year-old Arlo Bird with his family. He said his favourite sculpture was Rex near Jarrold's, a dog-themed dino with a bone in his mouth.
Craig Fiddaman, a friend of the family, said: "We have really enjoyed it and came over from Ipswich for the trail. We have got the owls there next year."
To donate £3 to children's charity Break, who are running the trail, text TREX to 70085.