Belfast Telegraph

Pictured: Dozens of teddy bears nailed to trees in Northern Ireland wood

By Nevin Farrell

Something strange is afoot among the trees on the Knockmore Road at Mosside, Co Antrim - and the bizarre sight is attracting an increasing number of visitors.

For years teddy bears have mysteriously been nailed to trees in the area. But locals say the last few months have seen an upsurge in the number of toys.

Up to 40 have been counted in recent days, and along with the increase in stuffed bears there has been a rise in the number of people driving along the road to look at the strange spectacle.

But as the number of teddy bears continues to soar, no one is any closer to finding out why they are there.

Some conspiracy theorists have suggested it is a macabre ritual by some sort of mysterious cult.

But most locals think it probably started off as a bit of fun and more and more people then copied the custom.

A resident on the Knockmore Road, who did not wish to be named, said: "It is somebody from Mosside putting them up.

"I think they put them up when they are walking out with the children.

"A lot of folk would walk that road, taking their children out walking.

"There is no reason for it - it is not like some sort of bizarre cult or anything like that.

"There have been quite a lot put up recently. The old ones were all sort of done, but then there was a new lot put up in the last few months.

"Some people call it the teddy bear road, and think that it is a great novelty.

"They have been doing this for years, but there seems to be a lot more put up. Nobody locally really thinks anything of it - they are there and that is it".

A Mosside man, who also wished to remain anonymous, added: "I think that it all started off when folk were dumping there and a teddy bear was tied up on a tree.

"It kind of started off a trend, and then somebody else just started to do the same.

"And then, before you knew it, there were a lot of bears on the go.

"A lot of the local people walk on that road, and I suppose they just put a few up for the craic, and then it just grew into a thing.

"It is still the Dark Hedges that people want to talk about and see. But, who knows, maybe the teddy bears will become a new attraction."

Another local man told this newspaper: "There would be a lot of people who frequently drive through the area to see if any more bears have been added, and lately there has been an increase in visitors. So, maybe the Dark Hedges could have a rival on its doorstep yet".

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