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Statue installed in Christchurch Park honour of Mabel the Owl

PUBLISHED: 15:18 29 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:18 29 September 2017

A statue has been installed in honour of Mabel the Owl in Christchurch Park in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A statue has been installed in honour of Mabel the Owl in Christchurch Park in Ipswich. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A statue has been installed in honour of Christchurch Park’s most famous feathered resident – Mabel the Owl.

Sylvia Patsalides next to the Mabel statue. Picture: GREGG BROWNSylvia Patsalides next to the Mabel statue. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The oak-carved figure, created by tree surgeon David Good, was installed yesterday in front of the tree the celebrity tawny often resides in.

Sylvia Patsalides, secretary of Friends of Christchurch Park (FOCP), said: “Mabel is Christchurch Park’s most famous resident.

“A lot of people know and revere her so when she disappeared early for the nesting season this year everyone became worried about her.

“She was due back at the end of September so we thought if she didn’t return we wanted to have a permanent reminder of her in the park.

Mabel the owl in her tree. Picture: SU ANDERSONMabel the owl in her tree. Picture: SU ANDERSON

“There are always people asking to be directed to Mabel’s tree so we thought if we planted a statue outside the tree it would be easier to find.

“And word is that Mabel is back so what better time to put up the statue.”

The owl statue was paid for by the FOCP, a volunteer organisation set up 19 years ago dedicated to improving the park, and installed by Ipswich Borough Council.

There have been a number of recent sightings of Mabel in the park although no-one has yet been able to take a photo of the illusive bird of prey.

Sylvia said the town should feel very lucky to have such fascinating resident living in the park.

“I just think it is something that is incredibly special,” she said.

“It is very rare a tawny owl will be visible while nesting in daylight, particularly in a public area.

“She has been sitting in that tree for eight or nine years now.

“She is the Christchurch Park equivalent of a celebrity.

“We are all hopeful she will be sitting in that tree for years to come.”

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “We are delighted with the sculpture and congratulate David Good and the Friends for this magnificent tribute.

“As Mabel’s ‘landlords’ we are very proud of the most famous resident of Christchurch Park.

“With this sculpture in place we now have two Mabels in the park and that is a real hoot!”

If you manage to snap a photo of Mabel, send it to newsroom@archant.co.uk

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