A GIFTED sculptor and tree surgeon has transformed a fallen oak tree into a play centipede for children.
Joc Hare, who has lived in Hastings for 12 years, was commissioned by Hastings Borough Council to turn a large oak tree, which toppled over during the recent storms, into a play sculpture for the Shornden play area situated inside Alexandra Park.
The sculpture took Joc, a tree surgeon who has worked as sculptor for 12 years, 10 weeks of carving to complete.
Last Saturday (April 5) a free play session was held to celebrate the newest addition to Shornden and children flocked to the park to play on the sculpture.
Joc said: “It is always nice to work in a public space and have the interaction with the public and people saying what they think and giving encouragement. The response has been really, really positive.”
Joc, who specialises in working with forestry and tree surgery waste, was also commissioned in 2012, along with Hastings artist Leigh Dyer, to create an innovative sculpture in Egerton Park ,Bexhill, to provide shade and a seating area.
Cllr Emily Westley, lead member for leisure and amenity, said: “During the recent storms a large oak tree had to be felled in the park. This was too good an opportunity to waste and so we commissioned Joc Hare, a local timber sculptor, to transform the tree into an activity play sculpture.
“Gristwood and Toms, our tree contractor, transported the dismantled tree from Harmers Lane to Shornden Play Park at no additional cost to the council. This was a great idea and has made use of a huge tree that was lost in the storms.”