A series of brass rubbing plates depicting local plants and animals has been installed along Sidmouth’s Riverside Walkway.

The nine plates designed by local artist and printmaker Emma Molony have been put in place in time for the school half-term break.

To launch the initiative 100 free brass rubbing trail packs are available at Sidmouth Tourist Information Centre, containing details of the plaques and instructions on how to make a brass rubbing, along with paper and crayons.

The brass rubbing trail is part of the Sidmouth Makes Art (SMArt) partnership project led by Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub and Sidmouth School of Art.

Artistic Director Coco Hodgkinson said: “The brass rubbing plaques are beautiful in themselves and provide a free accessible fun activity for children and families to do whilst enjoying the space. The trail encourages everyone to find out about the biodiversity in the River Sid and to see if they can spot the species in real life.“

The trail is part of the ongoing work to revitalise the Riverside Walkway as an attractive outdoor space for residents and visitors to enjoy while reconnecting with nature. The project follows the renovation of the nearby Sensory Garden and Western walkway and the completion of the new Alma Bridge. It's hoped the improvements will attract users of the Byes Riverside Park and the Ham playpark.

The walkway bays are being repurposed as outdoor galleries displaying art reflecting the project themes: Sidmouth’s fishing heritage, biodiversity in the River Sid, the River Sid source to sea, the Jurassic Coast and the history of The Ham. New railings, seating and signage have been installed. There is also new bat-friendly lighting, designed to balance safety and increased use of the area with conservation.

Advisers to the project include Ed Dolphin of the Sid Valley Biodiversity Group, Nigel Hyman of the Sid Vale Association and Sidmouth Museum, and Jon Ball of Sidmouth Arboretum. Sidmouth In Bloom are providing planters. The project is funded by the Arts Council England, Sidmouth Town Council, Sid Vale Association, East Devon AONB, Devon County Council and the Arts Society Sidmouth.