Monday, April 01, 2019
A new stone snake has been unveiled at Beacon Fell Country Park, restoring one of the site's most popular features.
A generation of children and adults alike enjoyed balancing along the tail of the 150 metre long snake, installed 20 years ago as one of a number of exhibits along the park's sculpture trail. The Snake uniquely combined public art, creativity, the use of natural materials, and the desire to provide an exciting outdoor play area.
The original log carving had to be removed for safety reasons around three years ago as, despite having withstood the Lancashire elements and countless footsteps for so many years, the wood had become rotten in places.
Now thanks to the fundraising efforts of children at Cardinal Allen High School, a grant from the Lancashire Environmental Fund, and a contribution from Lancashire County Council, a new generation will enjoy meeting the iconic Beacon Fell snake.
Local sculptor Thompson Dagnall was once again commissioned to bring The Snake to life, and it has been taking shape over recent months under the trees near the visitor centre.
An event was held today (Monday 1 April) to mark the completion of the sculpture and thank students at Cardinal Allen School for kick-starting the restoration project and raising a significant sum towards it.
Tim Blythe, Lancashire County Council countryside service manager, said: "I'm very glad to be able to welcome the new snake to Beacon Fell, and would like to thank everyone who has played a part in replacing the original.
"Whilst everybody understood the reasons why the previous sculpture had to go it was still a sad day for many people.
"Cardinal Allen High School in Fleetwood can take a lot of the credit as they loved the snake so much they decided that it had to be replaced, and approached our Countryside Service to propose a joint project.
"The students provided the impetus, and have raised £42,000 through sponsored walks, grant applications, and other fundraising. It's great to see their enthusiasm for The Snake and I'm very grateful for their vision and commitment to improving Beacon Fell and helping others to enjoy the park much as they do."
Andrew Harding, community coordinator at Cardinal Allen High School, said: "It's great that the snake has been restored and will be enjoyed for many years to come by the children of Lancashire. A big thank you to our Eco group who set the ball rolling and to both Andy Rowett of the Lancashire Environmental Fund and Tim Blythe of Lancashire County Council for their fantastic backing of this project."
The project has also seen wider environmental works taking place to complement the creation of The Snake which have included thinning out of self-sown Sitka Spruce which shade out native broadleaf trees, pruning to allow more light into the area, and refurbishment of a wall and historic sheep fold. Views have been opened up, and the area surrounding The Snake has had a total revamp. The project has enabled £42,000 of investment directly into Beacon Fell, £30,000 from the LEF, £5,000 from local fundraising and £7,000 from the county council.
Tagged as: Leisure and Culture