Giant Tansy Beetle in the Museum Gardens teases York Trailblazers Trail 2024 

A giant Tansy Beetle will be taking centre stage in the Museum Gardens on Wednesday morning (28th June) to tease the exciting new heritage trail that takes place in York in May 2024. 

York-based artist, Wim Standish, will be creating the Tansy Beetle artwork in the Museum Gardens and encouraging residents and visitors to get involved with the new trail, which will run between May-September 2024.  

As part of the wider Trailblazers project in 2024, the Tansy Beetle sculpture trail will appear across the city, with local artists commissioned by community and heritage groups to customise 20 giant Tansy Beetles to tell the stories of York’s greatest and lesser-known Trailblazers. 

Known as “The Jewel of York”, the endangered Tansy Beetle has been chosen as the emblem of the Trailblazer project, reflecting its special status as a York resident given its riverside habitat along the banks of the River Ouse. The Tansy Beetle’s perseverance echoes the rich history of people from York who have blazed trails locally, nationally and globally, leading the way in their spheres of influence to make the world a better place. 

Trailblazers will be an interactive and inclusive city-wide programme of events and activities across 2023–2025, celebrating York’s heritage. Created by York Civic Trust, in partnership with Make It York, Trailblazers will uncover lesser-known heritage stories of York’s people and places, empower new generations to discover the city’s history anew, and inspire people to make history by taking up the mantle of trailblazing into the future. 

York Civic Trust and Make It York are developing and delivering the project together, leading on their areas of expertise within culture, community and heritage in York. A mix of 40 organisations, from small voluntary groups to big institutions, supported York Civic Trust and Make It York’s bid to make Trailblazers a reality. The project is made possible by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery players. 

Andrew Morrison, Chief Executive Officer at York Civic Trust, said: “Our project York Trailblazers will be a fantastic opportunity for people to discover and celebrate the heritage stories of people who are important to their communities. The National Heritage Lottery Fund’s support of our project is an incredible boost and will enable the project to reach out to all parts of the city.” 

Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York, said: “We’re really excited to be able to reveal the theme of the York Trailblazers trail, and huge thanks to Wim for creating today’s incredible Tansy Beetle artwork. As a powerful emblem of environmental heritage, the 2024 trail’s giant Tansy Beetle sculptures will represent and be unique to York – and we’ll be combining their symbolism with the artwork that’s created on each sculpture, which will represent York’s trailblazing residents throughout history.” 

“We’re incredibly grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and to all the organisations who have come together to support York Trailblazers. This funding will make such a difference and enable Make It York and York Civic Trust to develop a really meaningful celebration of our history and heritage, engaging with residents, schools and community groups.”   

York Civic Trust, working in partnership with Make it York and partners across the city, has been awarded £249,999 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to deliver the York Trailblazers project.  

You can find out more about the Trailblazers project at 

Download high-res images here – 


For more information: 

Livvy Golby-Kirk, Marketing & Communications Officer at York Civic Trust  

Brittany Guymer, Communications & Marketing Executive at Make It York 

Notes to Editors: 

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.   

These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising  
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

About York Civic Trust  

York Civic Trust is a membership organisation open to all who wish to protect and enhance York’s architectural and cultural heritage, to champion good design and to advance the high place which York holds amongst the cities of the world. Founded in 1946, it has the key objectives of “Promoting Heritage—Shaping Tomorrow” at the heart of its work. Since an extensive conservation-repair programme in the 1980s, the Trust has restored Fairfax House on York’s Castlegate to its former grandeur. It is one of England’s finest Georgian townhouses and now a museum and offices of the Trust. 

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund 

Using money raised by The National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.  

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 

Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK. More than £30 million raised each week goes to good causes across the UK. 

About Wim Standish 

Wim paints portraits and murals, locally and internationally, and has spent ten years painting copies of famous ceilings for tourists outside York Minster. He performs as a street artist, ‘cellist, and live video artist. He currently resides in the woods near Castle Howard teaching bushcraft skills to children. 

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