IF you go down to Rowntree Park today, you’re sure of a big surprise.

Six hundred gaudily coloured birds of all shapes and sizes have settled on any spot where they can roost.

They intend to stay around until the end of July.

Afterwards they will get a good wash and fly off to St Leonard’s Hospice, where they will be sold off to raise funds for the centre in Tadcaster Road, York.

The avian ‘yarn storm’ is the joint work of more than 80 craft enthusiasts, who have been knitting, stitching, felting and crocheting to make the birds since April.

York residents Deborah New and Sally Stone started the project, including doing some special knitting themselves.

Sally has knitted a giant tree for some of the birds, using giant knitting needles and almost 400 metres of yarn made from old curtains, blankets and tablecloths weighing about 4.3 kilos.