the big sleuth

The Big Sleuth 2017


More than 230 beautifully painted sun bear sculptures here, bear and everywhere in Birmingham and beyond.

Birmingham was roaring with excitement on Thursday 12 October 2017, as 91 bear sculptures raised £257,300 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity at The Big Sleuth Auction.

The Big Sleuth won the hearts and minds of everyone in Bear-mingham and beyond this summer, after bringing the streets alive with colour and activity as colleagues, friends and families took to the streets to discover the bears.

With over 200 people in the auction room and over 7,000 watching live online, bear enthusiasts and art collectors bid on their favourite bears from the trail with successful bidders taking one home. Among them was an anonymous bidder who placed the highest bid of the night, winning Buzz, by artist Julia Allum and sponsored by University of Birmingham for £9,000. Read more.

10 July – 17 September 2017

The city’s streets, parks and open spaces have been transformed for the region’s largest ever FREE public art trail, The Big Sleuth. The sleuths of colourful 5ft-tall bears decorated by artists and 3ft-tall bear cubs by local schools are inhabiting Bear-mingham and its surrounding areas Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Sandwell and entertainment complex Resorts World.

Enjoy designs by celebrities and artists, such as the very well respected artists Temper and Reuben Colley, pop-rock band star Bradley Simpson from The Vamps, actor Adil Ray A.K.A Citizen Khan, Birmingham Bears and England cricketer Chris Woakes, adventurer Bear Grylls, and a special Peaky Blinders bear endorsed by the show’s writer Steven Knight.


A paw-some new super-sized app can help you make the most of your sleuthing activities! You can:

  • Unlock rewards
  • View your trail progress
  • Add your photos to our gallery and share on social media. Remember to use #TheBigSleuth
  • Activate your fundraising and connect the app with your Just Giving page.

Plus loads more bear-illiant features for just £1.99* available now from the App Store or Google Play. *Net proceeds will be donated to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity

Pick up a trail map from venues across the city, including the bear-illiant Big Sleuth outlet store in Birmingham’s Great Western Arcade, Unit 30.

At the end of the trail, the large sculptures together with the special celebrity bear cubs will be auctioned off in October to raise vital funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.






Farewell Weekend

Friday 6 October
Saturday 7 October
Sunday 8 October

Together for one last time before they are auctioned to raise funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, this is a last chance to snap a selfie with your favourites or to meet up with bears you may not have seen yet.

Enjoy a festival atmosphere with craft stalls, entertainment, fab food and drink, face painting, official Big Sleuth merchandise and MUCH MUCH MORE!












The beautiful Big Sleuth bears are going under the hammer:

Thursday 12 October 2017
At Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, Millennium Point,
Birmingham B4 7AP



The Big Sleuth is the second mass-participation public arts event to take place in Birmingham. Following the flying success of The Big Hoot, Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and creative producers Wild in Art have teamed up once again to bring a bear-illiant sequel to the Midlands in the summer of 2017. The Big Hoot attracted more than 800,000 visitors and in total raised over £625,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

A free, family-friendly event, The Big Sleuth will see 100 giant bear sculptures (and bear cubs created by schools and young people) leave their paw prints all over the West Midlands, including Birmingham, Solihull, Sandwell and Sutton Coldfield, as the region gets set to be known as Bear-mingham in 2017.

To find out more about The Big Sleuth visit

Follow the adventure on Twitter @TheBigSleuth and Facebook.


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