Chainsaw ace saddened as vandals strike again in Hitchin

Chainsaw artist Daniel Cordell was left saddened by the attack

Chainsaw artist Daniel Cordell was left saddened by the attack - Credit: Archant

The chainsaw sculptor who created the work of art that was attacked by vandals for the second time in two months at the popular Oughtonhead Nature Reserve in Hitchin has spoken to the Comet of his disappointment at the mindless act.

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 created by talented artist 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.


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Speaking from his studio in Devon yesterday, Daniel said: “I’m very disappointed and sad at what has happened.

“I think the people responsible may have been bored and decided to target the work. I don’t think it’s anything more sinister than that.

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“It’s a shame they haven’t got something more constructive to do with their time rather than attack wooden sculptures.

“I would say my message to them would be: ‘Why don’t you just think about what you’re doing.

“And think about how you’re making the Lumley family feel about what has happened.”

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

“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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