Stunning wood sculpture takes shape in Hartlepool park

Tom Craggs in Burn Valley Park. Picture by Tom Collins.
Tom Craggs in Burn Valley Park. Picture by Tom Collins.

When it comes to transforming Hartlepool’s parks, every little helps...

Work is under way to create a stunning new wood sculpture in Burn Valley Park, with funding from supermarket giant Tesco.

Tom Craggs admires his handiwork. Picture by Tom Collins.

Tom Craggs admires his handiwork. Picture by Tom Collins.

The work is part of a major improvement for the park, funded by the sale of carrier bags at the supermarket.

Anne Brown is chairman of the Friends of Hartlepool Wild Green Spaces, the group behind the work.

“The statue project is part of an improvement programme in the Burn Valley,” she said.

“We got £12,000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help fund - I think it was the last of such big donations.

Where the play area is now, there used to be a lily pond and Peter Pan was the statue in the middle. But it disappeared.

Anne Brown

“That has paid for 15,000 bulbs which we have hand-planted in the park and about 3,000 more autumn bulbs that will be mechanically planted by the borough council, but which we will pay for .

“That is how we work - we raise the money where we can and then put it back into the various parks around the town.”

The statue will be in two parts, with one representing a fairy and the other inspired by a former resident of the park.

“Where the play area is now, there used to be a lily pond and Peter Pan was the statue in the middle,” said Anne.

“But it disappeared. I don’t know whether it was stolen or just taken away, but we don’t know where it is now.

“This new sculpture is inspired by that.

“Obviously it won’t be exactly the same but hopefully it will look something similar.”

Consett sculptor Tom Craggs is the man charged with making the new statue a reality and has already completed the first section, showing the fairy.

Tom is entirely self-taught and has been producing wood sculptures for the last ten years.

“I happened to see a carved wooden mushroom in a garden centre and thought I would have a go myself.

“It has taken me ten years to get to where I am now and I am still learning,” he explained.

Tom estimates the project will take around two weeks from start to finish.

He has a rough idea of how the finished Peter Pan sculpture will look, but said the design would be a work in progress.

“You have just got to take it one step at a time and make it fit the wood somehow - it has to look as though it is doing something.”