AN elegant new sculpture will take the place of a cherry tree which is in decline in Library Gardens in Uppermill.
Plans are underway to replace the tree with a tasteful hand-carved heron to compliment the riverside setting.
The stump of the original tree will form the base for the new sculpture while another tree will also be installed to compliment the scene.
The move comes following discussions between Saddleworth and Lees District Executive and Oldham Council’s Arbor and Countryside Service who decided the old tree will have to be removed as it could not be saved.
“It appears rather than go into a slow decline over a number of years the cherry has deteriorated quite quickly,” said a district executive spokesperson.
“The Arbor and Countryside Service have said as a bare minimum they would grind the stump out and replace the tree.
“But they have suggested this would be an ideal opportunity to create a lasting feature in the gardens by carving the remaining trunk of the tree to create a natural sculpture.
“Following some preliminary discussions it was felt it worth exploring this unique opportunity to create an addition to the gardens.
“A replacement tree would still be planted but the Council would engage an artist to create a sculpture using tools to carve into the remaining trunk of the tree.
“Given the proximity to the river and wildlife the initial proposal is for a heron to be created,” the spokesman explained.
“The heron has a variety of positive meanings and symbolisms in a number of cultures, including self-determination, self-reflection, inquisitiveness, curiosity and determination.
“These, along with strength and patience, would seem appropriate for the location close the library and the existing peace pole situated in the gardens.”
The Saddleworth and Lees District Executive agreed to fund the project and chairman Cllr Adrian Alexander said: “The sculpture will be a tasteful addition to the community.”
The heron will be installed during the school Easter holidays and allow for a programme of woodland or country craft activities to take place alongside the carving of the sculpture.
The activities, aimed at children, young people and families, could take place outdoors in the Library Gardens and in the library itself.