A new tree carving celebrates a century of sport and fairground enjoyment at Leavesden Country Park.
A felled horse chestnut tree has been carved by local chainsaw artist Will Lee as part of an award-winning National Lottery Heritage-funded project, led and managed by Three Rivers District Council (TRDC).
Will, who was commissioned by TRDC, carved a football player, cricketer and fairground rides to celebrate the use of Leavesden Country Park over the last century.
The horse chestnut tree was planted along the avenue in the sports field, but was sadly felled many years ago due to poor health. It has laid in situ ever since.
Leavesden Hospital History Association informed the project team that cricket and football were regularly played on the field by patients and staff at the former hospital, as well being the site for annual fetes and fairgrounds.
The tree carving joins the nine other sculptures at the park, which celebrate the area’s history, such as the Leavesden Aerodrome and Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden
Councillor Chris Lloyd, TRDC’s lead member for leisure, said: “This is an incredible feature at the historic Leavesden Country Park that marks and gives insight into the sport that the hospital’s patients and staff enjoyed in the last century, and is located near to the parkrun finish line.”
Martin T. Brooks, founder of the Leavesden Hospital History Association, who provided the historical research for the project, said: “There was a sports day/fete held in the hospital grounds every year from its opening in 1870 until its closure in 1995. This annual event was something that all residents, staff and the local community looked forward to each year.”