Wood you believe it - landmark Yate tree becomes sculpture

February 27 2018
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THE remains of a tree that had to be felled for safety reasons has been transformed into a sculpture in Yate.

Local artist and tree sculptor Andy O’Neill was commissioned by Yate Town Council to carry out the work to the sequoia (Wellingtonia), which had been a feature at the junction of Station Road and The Causeway for many years.

It had been one of two sequoias that marked the entrance to the Ridge estate and pupils from Broadway Infant and Ridge Junior schools were invited to create drawings for Andy to incorporate into the final design.

More than 100 were submitted, with inspiration for the eventual design coming from the origin of the town’s name - derived from the old English word giete or gete, meaning a gateway into a forest area, the King’s Wood.

King Edmund’s head crowns the sculpture and there is a door at the bottom of the structure which represents the gate way. 

The sculpture also features wildlife, such as a fox, badger, hedgehogs, squirrels and an owl, and once the sculpture has dried, it will become tougher than many hardwoods, turning from pale pink to a dark burgundy red. 

Dame Janet Trotter, the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, visited Yate to see Andy’s carving and met teachers and children from the two schools, with an official unveiling taking place later with local residents and councillors.

Funding for the project came from South Gloucestershire councillors represent Yate and Dodington through the member-awarded funding scheme.