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Page last updated at 10:02 GMT, Friday, 4 June 2010 11:02 UK
Leeds Owl Trail map has sharp-eyed public following
Stained glass owl
One of the historic owls on the trail is preserved in stained glass

A map that pinpoints the locations of hidden symbols of owls around Leeds is being re-launched after the discovery of more owls by the public.

The stately owl, from the city's coat of arms, is a civic symbol of Leeds.

It can be found perched on various historical sites including the Town Hall, Leeds bridge and St. Anne's Cathedral.

Discovered locations have doubled to 25 since 2009 when a local team published a map of the first Owl Trail.

Statues and artistic representations of the bird can be spotted around the Civic Hall, inside Kirkgate market, atop the Corn Exchange and at 22 other locations - some more hidden than others.

Historical voyage

The Leeds Owl Trail was launched last year when 10 owl locations were brought together on a map by a small team led by Antonia Stowe, a Leeds-based visual artist.

The trail is described as a 'voyage across history' and its purpose is to 'inform and inspire people about Leeds' rich heritage'.

The team delivered owl maps to hotels and information centres across the city. Antonia says the self-guided walking tour has been well received and the maps have run out after every delivery.

"I never thought we'd be doing a 33,000 copy delivery!" she said.

The original map revealed where each owl was, along with a description of its location's history through the bird's point of view.

Since then, the public have spotted 15 more owl locations and a new map is being unveiled this month.

Owl carving
Sharp eyes have found 15 more owl locations since last Spring

Antonia is thrilled. She said: "It has taken off in an incredible way, with the website and the map...It encourages people to go out there and engage in the city."

From the bold golden owls in Millennium Square to a crumbling carving on a nineteenth century auction house on East Parade, the growing trail is intended to be a unique way of getting to know Leeds and parts of its history.

Antonia said one advantage of the walking trail is the opportunity to go outside and get some exercise while also seeing some otherwise unnoticed sights, on your own or as a family or group activity.

BBC Leeds got a sneak peak of the new extended trail, which the owl team has called the grand tour. Some of the recently-discovered owls are much harder to spot, while some lead followers inside historical buildings in the city centre.

The new trail map is being unveiled on Tuesday, 15 June at Leeds Civic Trust.

Trail follows parliament of owls
14 Oct 09 |  History
In pictures: Leeds Owl Trail
04 Jun 10 |  History



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