A wooden sculpture made by a Wiltshire College & University Centre apprentice has been unveiled on public land to celebrate a partnership with Chippenham Borough Lands charity.
The owl, carved from Western Red Cedar by Ollie Adams, was officially unveiled by Lady Landsowne at Westmead Open Space on Tuesday 5th March.
Speaking at a ceremony attended by College and CBL staff and trustees, Lady Lansdowne said: “I was delighted to be asked to unveil the sculpture and think that it is absolutely brilliant.
“This is a wonderful partnership between the two and I can’t believe how much this area has changed since I was here to cut the ribbon and open it two years ago.”
Ollie, aged 30, is an Advanced Horticulture apprentice and learned the art of sculpting from his step dad.
He said: “I’m delighted to have been asked to make a sculpture to mark this partnership and it has been so lovely that lots of dog walkers have stopped to say how much they like it and also thanked me for creating the owl.”
Astonishingly, it only took him a day to carve the owl, although treating it to ensure it can be a permanent fixture at the site took around a week.
Ollie said: “What I love about working in horticulture and at Lackham, is that I get to work with natural materials every day.
“The wood for the owl and the base it stands on, both came from trees that had fallen down on the estate.”
Horticulture and Countryside Management students from Lackham have been carrying out work experience at the land off of Pewsham Way to enhance the area and improve it for community use.
Phil Tansley, CEO of CBL, said: “We had heard how Ollie was at carving and thought it would be a lovely way to celebrate our new partnership.
“It is a fantastic way for students to gain work experience with a real client and they have already done a fantastic job here.
“Following on from this unveiling, we will be inviting primary schools to take part in a competition to design more sculptures and create a trail through some of our woodland.”