YOUNGSTER were in for a treat when they went along to meet a 14ft wooden Gruffalo carving in woodlands at Kilmardinny Loch, Bearsden recently.
Pupils from Mosshead and Bearsden Primary Schools were among the first children to see the completed sculpture last Thursday which took four days to complete and is carved from a 200 year old beech tree by acclaimed Scottish chainsaw sculptor Iain Chalmers. The Gruffalo is the main character in Bearsden author Julia Donaldson’s popular series of children’s books.
The sculpture has now done five wood carvings around the loch. There is an ever watchful owl perched on a plinth and three log benches decorated with foxes, squirrels, fish and ducks which were designed by local school children.
Iain said, “I have been wood carving for nine years now and the Gruffalo has been a very challenging project due to the sheer size of the beech tree. However, I am glad the weather has been dry as it definitely helps.”
The art project is a partnership between East Dunbartonshire Council and local group Kilmardinny PALS (Playpark and Loch Scheme).
Andy MacGregor from PALS said: “PALS began fundraising to improve the facilities at Kilmardinny Loch in 2006 and we have been working closely with the Council to provide a new play park, pathways, signage and plant trees. This amazing wood carving of the Gruffalo will draw more visitors to the Loch and let them appreciate the woodlands and the wildlife within this local nature reserve.”
Councillor Alan Moir, convener of development and infrastructure, said: “The Gruffalo is a fantastic addition to the Loch. The work Iain does is inspired and wherever his work is displayed people flock to see it. The presence of a life size and extremely popular character from children’s literature is sure to capture little imaginations and enhance their reading experience.”
SCULPTURE ART . . . children from Mosshead and Bearsden Primary schools in Bearsden joined wood sculpture Iain Chalmers and Keith Small and Jackie Gillespie for Playpark and Loch Schemes at Kilmardinny Loch last week to see the new Gruffalo sculpture Iain has carves.