Still no sign of stolen owl sculpture from Yeovil Country Park

On Friday 26 October, an owl sculpture crafted as part of a three-year Heritage Lottery Funded project at Yeovil Country Park was stolen.

With over a week now gone by since the sculpture went missing, it is yet to be found with no information on its whereabouts received.

When the rangers were out on their usual litter picking and bin emptying duties, assistant ranger Matt Arnold was devastated to find that the owl sculpture had been stolen. He said "I was shocked and upset to discover the owl sculpture was missing. We installed it with extra-long screws, which couldn't have been removed without a huge amount of force and we also put it up high on a tree, so that it was out of reach. This isn't just a mindless act of vandalism, it is a carefully planned theft."

The beautiful owl sculpture was just one of ten wooden carved sculptures that were produced by local Barrington-based artist Joseph Mesar. Created using wood from trees that had fallen or had to be felled due to safety reasons at Yeovil Country Park, the owl was erected at Riverside in June this year by the country park rangers. 

Becky Russell, Community Ranger at Yeovil Country Park, has been the lead officer in delivering the HLF project at the country park. Becky said: "It is heart breaking when you put time and effort into creating wonderful things for everyone to enjoy in the country park, only for it to be stolen. I broke the news to our sculptor, Joseph, and he is very disappointed. He spent a lot of time creating something unique and special. The sculpture was also going to be a feature in our new 'Art in the Park' leaflet that is to be released later this month. Now we will have to consider if we try to find some more money to replace the owl or leave it out of the leaflet."

Councillor Sylvia Seal, Portfolio Holder for Leisure & Culture at South Somerset District Council added: "It is so disheartening to think of all of the work that went into creating the owl and organising the project. The feedback on the Country Park's Facebook page has been so supportive and we hope the owl will be returned. Many people enjoyed seeing it on their walks at Riverside and it will be missed."

If you have any information about the missing owl please contact the rangers on 01935 462462 or email them countryside@southsomerset.gov.uk.  The rangers hope that the person who is responsible will have a change of heart and leave the owl somewhere the rangers will find it so that it can put back in the woodland, where it belongs.

Owl 2

Above: A photo of the owl sculpture that is missing from Yeovil Country Park