An old oak tree in the grounds of West Suffolk Hospital has been given a new lease of life – as a carving of an owl.
Local wood sculptor Ben Loughrill used a chainsaw to create the owl, which is about two and a half feet tall, and stands in the courtyard bordering the orthopaedic ward and occupational therapy and physiotherapy departments at the hospital.
The sculpture was the idea of Gylda Nunn, Integrated Therapies Manager.
She said: “Due to the size of the oaks which were planted in the 1960s they had to be cut down. It seemed right that we made something out of the oak prior to the redevelopment of the courtyard into an area suitable for patient rehabilitation.
“Some of the courtyards at the hospital are lovely – the hospital volunteers do a great job with them. This carving improves the outlook for patients and staff into this courtyard too.
“Staff, patients and visitors have been really pleased to see the courtyard beginning to take shape. The carving looks beautiful.”
Lilian Wignall, from Mildenhall, a patient on ward F4 who observed the transformation from her window, commented: “I was intrigued to see how a simple tree trunk could be turned into such a lovely piece of sculpture.
“It was a delight to see it take shape over such a short space of time – what a talented man.”
The sculpture was paid for with money from the hospital’s charitable funds and a donation from Bury in Bloom.
Melanie Lesser, Bury in Bloom co-ordinator, said: “I’m delighted that Bury in Bloom is part of this lovely project to create a new piece of art for the hospital.”
Mr Loughrill also carved the St Edmund wolf on the town’s Southgate Green roundabout through Bury in Bloom.