Donated sculpture stolen from children’s sensory garden

The carver who donated a wooden sculpture for a children’s sensory garden in Daventry said he is saddened by its theft.

Andy Barton created the Green Man sculpture out of a tree trunk using a chainsaw on Sunday (May 12) as part of the attractions for Countryside Day at Daventry Country Park.

But at some point after Thursday, May 16, the sculpture was stolen and Daventry District Council, which commissioned the work, is urging anyone with information about its whereabouts to contact the police.

Mr Barton said: “I’m saddened and disappointed by this.

“It’s sad that there’s such selfish people out there who would steal something that I created for the enjoyment of the people visiting Daventry Country Park.

“It’s hard to say but I’d guess it probably weighed 200kg (440lb). It would have either needed specialist equipment to move, or three or four big guys to roll it out of the park and then lift it onto whatever vehicle they had.

“I’m just so disappointed.”

The piece was then donated to the children’s sensory garden at the country park.

The garden is designed to engage children with plants and other items they can touch and smell as well as see.

Cllr Alan Hills, DDC’s portfolio holder for community, culture and leisure, said: “The theft of this sculpture is a real loss to the visitors of the park.

“We had already received lots of feedback about how much people liked it and the plan was for it to be placed in the sensory garden for children to look at and touch, but unfortunately they won’t be able to now.

“It’s an extremely heavy sculpture and far too heavy to be lifted by one person on their own, and I would encourage anyone who knows its whereabouts to contact the police as soon as possible.”

The carving depicted the Green Man, a traditional image found across Europe from the early Middle Ages onwards. It is usually seen as a symbol of fertility and rebirth or ‘renaissance’, representing the new cycle of growth each spring.