A new permanent home for Covid the Cobra has been decided by Stevenage’s residents.

More than 5,500 local people voted in Stevenage Borough Council’s poll, which determined where the painted stones would be permanently housed in Stevenage.

The options were Fairlands Valley Park or an underpass near Grace Way.

Just under 2,700 voted for Fairlands, meaning the winning choice was the underpass near Grace Way with 2,900 votes.

Covid the Cobra was started by Dawn Parnell and her children, Eddie and Owen, just two months ago. The family laid their own painted stones as a way to bring some cheer to local residents during lockdown.

Since then, it has blossomed into a huge community effort – with almost 10,000 stones contributed to the snaking structure that is nearly half a mile in length.

Dawn said: “Myself, Eddie and Owen are so very proud to see the community’s amazing stones being preserved near to where Covid the Cobra grew for everyone to enjoy for years to come, as a permanent reminder of how the community came together to create something so positive during a time of uncertainty.”

Cllr Richard Henry, SBC’s executive member for children, young people, leisure and culture at Stevenage Borough Council, said: “Thank you to everyone who voted and had their say on where Covid the Cobra should live permanently. We are looking forward to preserving the snake in the underpass for future generations to visit and learn about this unique period in our town’s history that brought so many residents together in difficult times.

A fundraising page has been set up to raise money to pay for the costs associated with moving and preserving the stones in the underpass.

To donate, visit gofundme.com/f/covid-the-cobra-stevenage-restoration