Tree preserved by Sheffield schoolchildren as work of art

A tree has been given a new lease of life thanks to a sculptor and a group of children at a Sheffield junior school.

The London Plane tree had been removed by Sheffield Council’s Streets Ahead team from Carterknowle Road, Carterknowle, after it was found to be causing damage to pavements.

Now, thanks to pupils at Anns Grove Primary School, Heeley, and professional chainsaw sculptor Lorraine Botterill, the trunk has been turned into a decorative bench.

Lorraine was asked by Streets Ahead to create a piece of art out of the removed tree and work began as part of Sheffield’s Big Boulder Music and Arts Festival, with pupils getting involved to complete the piece following the festival.

The bench now sits in Heeley Park, where the event took place, as a lasting memento of the tree and for local people to admire and enjoy.

Bev Nunn, events and involvement organiser at Heeley Development Trust, which looks after Heeley Park, said: “The children at the school were very excited to be part of this project and taking part in the carving itself, bringing the trunk back to life.

“The Big Boulder Music and Arts Festival is one of our annual events and is growing in popularity and size.

“For the last festival, we were approached by artist Lorraine, who had been asked by Streets Ahead to create a large-scale piece of chainsaw art.

“The work began on the day of the event and, along with a sculpture garden and art exhibition, succeeded in adding a new and exciting element to the festival.”

Bev added: “It’s great that the bench is now situated in Heeley Park and so close to the school so that the children can see their hard work.”