Anger as vandals return to attack wooden sculpture at Hitchin nature reserve

Vandals have attacked a wooden sculpture of a dragonfly at Hitchin's Oughtonhead Common nature reser

Vandals have attacked a wooden sculpture of a dragonfly at Hitchin's Oughtonhead Common nature reserve - Credit: Archant

Vandals have attacked a wooden sculpture in the popular Oughtonhead Nature Reserve in Hitchin for the second time in two months.

Vandals have attacked a wooden sculpture of an owl at Hitchin's Oughtonhead Common nature reserve

Vandals have attacked a wooden sculpture of an owl at Hitchin's Oughtonhead Common nature reserve - Credit: Archant

The latest attack, which took place on Tuesday, saw the remaining wings ripped from the fine art wood carving of a dragonfly, and the beaks smashed off the birds which were created by chainsaw sculpture Daniel Cordell.

The decorative wooden arch was erected at the heart of the nature reserve to depict wildlife typically seen there as part of a £40,000 restoration project. The arch also displays a tribute in the memory of Phil Lumley, who was honorary volunteer site warden for the reserve for eight years.

The vandals struck for the first time in August, two months after the official launch celebrated the completion of the restoration works.

Councillor Jane Gray, North Herts District Council’s executive member for leisure said: “I am appalled that vandals have attacked the art work again.


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“I am sure that we all find this mindless and criminal behaviour offensive and I particularly have in mind how distressing it must be for the widow of Phil Lumley, whose tribute is carved into the artwork that is being repeatedly vandalised, and also for the artist Daniel Cordell.

“These acts of vandalism serve no purpose whatsoever but they impact greatly on those who regularly use and enjoy the nature reserve. The council now has to divert valuable money and resources to repair the damage caused by the vandals.

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“I would urge anyone who sees vandalism being carried out to contact the police on the non-emergency number 101.”

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