POPULAR artwork is going to auction to raise money for charity after creating a summer of fun across north Essex.

The Octopus Ahoy! trail has now come to an end with 31 large and 61 small octopuses leaving their temporary residences to go up for auction.

The popular trail has seen more than 22 million steps taken by explorers on the app, with the sculptures found more than 103,000 times.

Online bidding for the iconic octopuses will begin next Wednesday ahead of the live auction at Le Talbooth in Dedham on September 23.

The large sculptures, alongside a handful of smaller ones, will go up for sale to the highest bidder in the hopes of raising £100,000 for charities across Essex.

Tens of thousands of awards have also been redeemed, as residents used the app to scan QR codes when they spotted the sculptures. Those ranged from afternoon teas, sweets and shopping vouchers to an annual pass to Colchester Zoo and a two-night hotel stay and many more.

The most found sculpture was Octopirate, designed by artist Deven Bhurke and placed at the Clacton promenade, with 2,708 finds.

Sedna, which was created using found and donated crockery and sea glass around the Essex coastline, was also the most favourited octopus.

The colourful creatures were hidden in streets, parks and open spaces, where every explorer had a chance to get a picture taken with them.

The art event, which was launched by KAT Marketing and Tendring Council, marked 400 years since the journey of the Mayflower from Harwich to the New World and 150 years since Clacton’s formation.

Katie Skingle, director at KAT Marketing, said: “It’s been a fantastic success and the feedback from the public has been truly wonderful.

“Now it’s time for these incredible works of art to go up for sale for charity and some fantastic causes.

“They are now a big part of the history of Tendring, so it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to buy a piece of folklore, especially the stunning Take Me to the Banksy, or the beautiful Autograph which is an homage to the suffragettes, signed by a direct descendant of Mrs Pankhurst herself.

“These fabulous works of art always raise thousands of pounds for charity, and we know they will again, so make sure you bid for your favourite.”

Visit octopusahoy.co.uk. to find out more about the auction.