John O'Conner helps create sculpture from destroyed tree

A vandalised purple beech tree in a Hertfordshire park has been re-born as a wildlife sculpture, with contractor John O'Conner Grounds Maintenance donating £1,500 towards the cost.

Close-up of the beech tree sculpture.  Image: NHDC
Close-up of the beech tree sculpture. Image: NHDC

Vandals attacked the tree, which had been in the gardens since they opened and was popular with park users, in 2012 removing a large section of bark and pushing it into decline. It finally died this year and sculptor Dennis Heath carved the art work at the centre of Priory Memorial Gardens in Royston.

John O’Conner founder John O’Conner and members of his team who maintain the park attended an unveiling ceremony last week with Royston’s deputy mayor councillor Vera Swallow and other councillors and staff from North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC).

Councillor Peter Burt, NHDC’s executive member for waste, recycling and environment, said: "The sculpture is a wonderful way of salvaging at least some of the distinguished tree, and it is now a piece of public artwork that we hope will be admired in the gardens for years to come."

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