A Giant Spoon sits in a field outside of Cramlington, here’s what it’s all about

During the first day of the Great North Walk to Bamburgh in January 2024, I was enroute to Cramlington from the village of Seghill on a footpath between farmers fields, when I suddenly came across a randomly placed giant spoon sticking out of the ground. The sculpture seemed bizarre, I’d never heard of it before and the photo of it soon attracted ridicule on social media. Just what was this spoon? And why was it here?

Having done some research later, I soon discovered the Giant Spoon was in fact an art sculpture, which had been created in 2006. Made out of stainless steel and standing at 4.5 metres tall, its official name is “Eat for England” and it was designed by Bob Budd, having been funded by a National Lottery Grant. Budd’s style of art has focused on placing random objects in everyday places, which has also included “an enormous cookery rolling pin covered in grass in Belgium, a pair of giant-sized spectacles in an Andorran wool factory, and a large marble sausage on a plinth in a woodland near Munich.”

The goal of planting it in such a random and obscure location is to encourage people to get out, walk and explore the countryside. Budd, however, said it was placed in a farmer’s field because that’s precisely “where food is created” and that there is a food based purpose to it. He told the BBC in 2021:

“After 15 years, I’m very glad that the Spoon continues to be a popular destination for people to visit on their walks through the countryside. It should be a fun, but also draw on people’s imagination as to why it’s there – a disconnect between our daily lives and agriculture.

“As a mostly urban population we have little idea of how food is produced and what negative effects that has on the natural environment.

“Since we are moving so very slowly on appreciating our dependence on the soil and nature, the Spoon continues to be as relevant today as when it was made.”