Gallery: Wooden hares take pride of place at Old Henstead School, Beccles

A 100-year-old horse chestnut tree had to be felled at The Old School in Henstead. Two "Henstead Har

A 100-year-old horse chestnut tree had to be felled at The Old School in Henstead. Two "Henstead Hares" were sculptured out of the trunk in its place. Year 1 class. - Credit: Archant

WHEN a beautiful tree at a Suffolk school had to be cut down because of safety fears there was much regret among teachers, pupils and parents alike.

The horse chestnut was struck by lightning and there was no other option than to have it felled.

But rather than completely remove the stump The Old Henstead School, near Beccles, decided to do something a little more creative.

With the help of chainsaw sculptor Ben Loughrill and an anonymous donor two “Henstead Hares” were carved.

The wooden monuments now sit proudly outside the school, overlooking the front garden and music room.

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Melissa Clifton, year four and five teacher, said: “They are absolutely wonderful and the children think they are fantastic. They enjoy touching them because the sculptures are very smooth.

“Ben did one over the school holidays and the other in term time so the children could watch it take shape. We hope to put a seat around the outside of the stump to create even more of a feature.”

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The idea for the sculptures came from the school’s chair of governors, Heidi Crick.

“It was such a beautiful horse chestnut,” she said. “Rather than just chop it down we wanted to leave something there. Ben has done a lovely job.”

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