Sheffield tree preserved by school children as a work of art

26 March 2015
A group of school students sat on a tree carving.

A Sheffield tree has been given a new lease of life - thanks to a sculptor and a group of school children at a Sheffield junior school.
The London Planetree unfortunately had been removed by the Streets Ahead team from nearby Carterknowle Road after it was found to be causing damage to pavements. But, thanks to pupils at Anns Grove Primary School, Heeley, and chainsaw sculptor Lorraine Botterill, the trunk has been turned into a decorative bench.

Lorraine was asked by Streets Ahead to create a piece of art out of the removed tree and work began as part of Sheffield’s Big Boulder Music & Arts Festival, with pupils getting involved to complete the piece after the festival.
The bench now sits in Heeley Park, where the festival took place, as a lasting memento of the tree and for local people to admire and enjoy.
Bev Nunn, Events and Involvement Organiser at Heeley Development Trust, who look after Heeley Park, said: “The children at the school were very excited to be part of this project and taking part in the carving itself, bringing the trunk back to life.

“The Big Boulder Music & Arts Festival is one of our annual events and is growing in popularity and size. For the last festival, we were approached by artist Lorraine, who had been asked by Amey to create a large-scale piece of chainsaw art. The work began on the day of the event and, along with a sculpture garden and art exhibition, succeeded in adding a new and exciting element to the festival.
“It’s great that the bench is now situated in Heeley Park and so close to the school so that the children can see their hard work.”

Cllr Jayne Dunn, Cabinet Member for the Environment, Recycling and Streetscene, said: “It’s fantastic that the children of Anns Grove Primary School have been able to create something out of the London Plane tree that was on Carterknowle Road
“The tree had been removed because it was causing damage to the street’s pavements, but it’s great that this tree will continue to be part of the city’s future.”

Streets Ahead’s Operations Director, Darren Butt, said: “We only remove trees as a last resort - when they are dead or dying, diseased, are causing damage or could become a danger to those passing underneath. Unfortunately, this tree had to be removed, but I’m pleased that it could be transformed and that the children have been able to do something creative with the tree. As a business that promotes sustainable solutions and recycling, this is a fantastic opportunity to take what is a waste product from our core activity to create a unique piece of street furniture for the local community to enjoy and use.”

Lorraine, a Sheffield-based professional chainsaw sculptor, said: “I’ve worked with schools and Streets Ahead on a few occasions now to bring old trees back to life as something new and creative.
“Amey commissioned me with creating a piece of art out of one of the tree trunks that had been removed from the city and the Big Boulder Music & Arts festival was a perfect opportunity to showcase the transformation of the trunk. School children are very imaginative and creative so I was keen for pupils from Anns Grove Primary School by Heeley Park to get involved. They had a great time and we created a wonderful piece of art.”
Streets Ahead are also using the wood from removed trees to make bollards to help protect grass verges.