Gruffalo’s new winter coat

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If you stroll through the deep, dark wood at Kilmardinny Loch you may notice that the

Gruffalo statue has got a shiny new winter coat.

The 14ft high carving of a Gruffalo near Kilmardinny Loch, which was made from a 200 year old beech tree by acclaimed Scottish sculptor Iain Chalmers of Chainsaw Creations, in 2012.

The art project was a partnership between East Dunbartonshire Council and local group Kilmardinny Pals (Playpark and Loch Scheme).

Permission for this carving was given by his original creator Julia Donaldson, who wrote The Gruffalo as well as The Gruffalo’s Child and lived in Bearsden for many years until recently.

The model, was joined at the loch by four other wood carvings which include an owl and three log benches decorated with foxes, squirrels, fish and ducks.

Councillor Ashay Ghai, depute leader of East Dunbartonshire Council and convenor of Neighbourhood Services, said: “Since 2012 our Gruffalo has stood tall and proud, together with two carved logs seats, overlooking Kilmardinny Loch.

“We decided the time had come for him to get a new coat of paint, to see him through the coming winter.

“I’m sure everyone will agree that he is looking splendid and ready to greet his many visitors, some of whom have come from as far away as Spain and even Australia.

“We are very grateful to the conservation volunteers who not only gave our Gruffalo his new winter coat, but also painted the three carved log seats in fresh new colours.”

Andy MacGregor from Kilmardinny PALS, said: “We are delighted with the success of the Gruffalo sculpture - it has definitely drawn more visitors to Kilmardinny Loch local nature reserve.

“It’s great that it’s been given a new lease of life to last through the winter.

“We’ve also been managing the woodland around the loch as some trees fell during high winds or through disease.

“We’re making room for more native species through woodland thinning projects.

“We are carrying out control of invasive non-native plants such as Himalayan balsalm and rhododendrons which would take over if we allowed them to.”