Lottery stumps up for tree art in Birch HillBy Becky Barnes
September 05, 2012
A dead tree will be given a facelift and carved into a piece of art after a bid for lottery funding was successful.
Birch Hill Community Association has secured £6,000 of Big Lottery Fund cash for the cedar tree stump on the green, on the corner of Lydney and Birch Hill Road, to be revamped into a play area for youngsters.
Pat Kennewell, of Birch Hill Community Association, said: “I decided to apply for the funding because I pass the tree frequently and I thought it could be made into something a bit more beautiful.”
Pat has raised a further £3,500 to pay for the makeover to be started in mid-October with support from Bracknell Forest Homes, Bracknell Town Council, Bracknell Forest Council, Councillor Chas Bailey and Liscombe House, sheltered housing.
She has commissioned Tom Hills, of Greenspace, and his team to carve animals into the tree and to carve an arch through the base but the actual design will depend on how the wood responds to the work.
She said: “It would be nice if youngsters could sit there – it would be good for them to have somewhere to play.
“Whatever we end up with it will return the tree to being something beautiful and eye-catching again.”
The cedar tree is hundreds of years old but had to be cut down to 12ft after it was struck by lightning three years ago.
Pat came up with the idea after her successful project to create a ‘story tree’ on the estate where librarians read to children on the stretch of land between Birch Hill Community Centre and the library in Leppington.
Bracknell MP Dr Phillip Lee said: “The grant awarded to the Birch Hill Community Association will improve the local environment and allow the community easier access and enjoyment to more green spaces.
“The programme will enable people to make their communities a better place to live, now and in the future.”
The cash was donated by Awards for All England, a small grants scheme awarding money from the Big Lottery Fund, supports change to improve health, education and the environment in communities.
Work on the tree will begin in October and may last up to two months.