A statue has been unveiled in Mewsbrook Park which celebrates its history and wildlife.
Made from a Monterey cypress felled to make way for the multi-million pound leisure centre, the £2,600 statue was officially launched by the Friends of Mewsbrook Park on Friday.
The town mayor, Billy Blanchard-Cooper, said: “It is testimony to the hard work of the wonderful Friends of Mewsbrook Park group. It is stunning; it’s captured all the different elements of the park. I can’t fault it.”
The statue’s design includes bees, a mallard duck, a butterfly, toadstools, a hedgehog and Mewsbrook Park House.
District councillor James Walsh said: “It is a really beautiful evocation of what Mewsbrook Park means to people, both its history and its wildlife. Simon has done a wonderful, wonderful job.”
Simon Groves, 28, from Wick, is a wood sculptor based in Arundel, who uses chainsaws to create his masterpieces. He said the sculpture took seven days to create and he was ‘really chuffed’ with the finished result: “Sometimes it is hard to picture how it will turn out and it is different to how I imagined it but I’m really pleased with the end result.”
To make the statue, Simon used a large chainsaw to carve the tree, moving on a smaller one for the details. A sander was used to smooth the surface, and a blowtorch to colour the statue.
He finished the statue using Danish oil, which hardened and polished the wood. It took three hours to install the statue, which was concreted into the floor.
Among the statue’s funders was Alfred Petts, who left the friends group £500 in his will.
The statue is also a swansong for Clive and Sue Fennell from the Friends of Mewsbrook Park, who will be resigning at the end of the month.
Clive said it is ‘exactly what we wanted’ and Sue said: “It is a lasting legacy for the park, and it is a legacy from us as well. It will be our memory of the park and the Friends.”
Hanna Szlenkier, 92, was present at the unveiling. She said: “It is absolutely beautiful; superb really. We are very lucky to be living here.”