SALFORD rangers are attempting to raise £2,000 to repair a defaced fox sculpture and replace a stolen owl sculpture from the Fairy Trail created this summer at Clifton Country Park.

The mile-long trail features 10 mythical creatures and woodland animals made from locally sourced wood. It’s the latest success of the recycle and reward scheme run by Salford City Council where residents vote each month for their favorite local good cause. If recycling rates increase the chosen project receives funding.

Councillor David Lancaster, lead member for environment and community safety, said: “The Clifton Country Park User Group Forum with support from the Ranger team came up with the idea of the sculpture trail and put it forward to the Recycle and Reward scheme.

“They spent an anxious month hoping residents in the area would increase recycling and we were all delighted when they did. Not only did it secure the funding for this fantastic trail which really enhances the country park but it keeps more waste from going to landfill which wastes money and is bad for the environment.”

Chainsaw artist Mike Burgess created the sculptures for the park on 17 August. On 15 September the volunteer park rangers discovered the owl sculpture had been stolen.

The owl sculpture was three feet tall and has been described by Salford City Council as ‘pretty solid’. Councillor  David Lancaster, lead member for environment and community safety, said: “I don’t know what to say. I’m lost for words. I don’t understand why people would do this. The sculpture trail has given a lot of pleasure to a lot of people and they have spoiled it for no reason at all.”

The rangers have launched a social media appeal to plead for the return of the sculpture. A report has been made to the police anyone with information should contact GMP 101.

Five days after the theft of the owl the rangers discovered the fox sculpture had been defaced.The nose was found 100 meters away from the sculpture.

Although the team of volunteers have managed to repair the fox they are appealing for funds to replace the stolen owl.The Just Giving page has been set up to raise funds to replace the sculpture. Julie Bowman a regular dog walker at the park has said “I’m disgusted with the vandalism of the lovely statues.” The page has raised one hundred and eight five pounds.

Mike Burgess the chainsaw artist has explained “I’m building a replacement owl for the park. It should be installed in the next few week.”

Click here to donate towards the cause.

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