Dead wood to be given new life as a tree sculpture

An old beech tree in High Woods Country Park is to be transformed into a monumental work of art, thanks to the talents of chainsaw sculptor Mark Russell.


Tree surgeon-cum-artist Mark, co-founder of Marnic Wood Carving, will begin transforming the tree stump in the children’s play area, on Monday (19 February 2018).


While the play area will be closed for the duration of the work, the public is invited to come along and watch the sculpture taking shape from a safe distance.


The carving, which is expected to take up to three days to complete, will feature some of the wildlife of the park, as well as the face of a Green Man, a once-popular motif in Medieval churches representing the living spirit of nature. The carving will be topped off with a larger-than-life woodpecker.


The beech tree was reduced in size several years ago, due to poor health, but rather than leave a stump in the play area, Colchester Borough Council has commissioned Mark, aka ‘Rusty’, to transform it into an attractive new feature.


Rusty’s previous work in High Woods Country Park includes a large owl, which has proved very popular with visitors.


Cllr Tina Bourne, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities said: “I cannot wait to see what magic Mark creates with this old beech. It’s such a wonderful thing to be able to put new life into an old tree and create an organic work of art that, I’m sure, will prove immensely popular with visitors for decades to come.”


Rusty said: “I’m really delighted to have been asked to carve another sculpture for Country Park visitors to enjoy. It seems a shame not to do something with the tree, when it can be turned into a wonderful feature unique to the park.


“I’d like the finished carving to symbolise some of the flora and fauna that can be seen in the area, and hope it will encourage many more people to appreciate the amazing things Nature has to offer.”

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