Provost Moonie is pictured with some of the wooden carvings with (left to right) Councillor Bill Grant; carver Craig Steele; John Walker; and Councillor John McDowall
A poignant and permanent Remembrance Woodland – including a stunning tree sculpture trail featuring wooden soldiers and poppies – is taking shape at Rozelle Park in Ayr as the country gets set to mark Remembrance Day on 11 November.
South Ayrshire Council and Friends of the Maclaurin are creating the woodland as part of the World War 1 centenary commemorations 2014-18, with the aim of letting the nature and woodland develop naturally – just as it has on battlefields across the world.
Work on the woodland started earlier this year and the incredible sculpture trail – funded by the David Elder Edward Trust – is already proving popular with local people and visitors alike.
The sculptures – created by professional chainsaw carvers Iain Chalmers, Andy Maclachlan, Peter Bowsher and Craig Steele – include:
- Poppy carving
- Memorial to an Unknown Soldier
- Trench warfare sculpture
- Letter from home, seated soldier
- Bench with tank feature
- German observer
- A Tommy
- Kilted Soldier
To support the sculpture trail, a new path network is also being created, with additional plants and trees being planted to enhance the woodland area. New carvings, seats and features will be added over time, ensuring that every visit is a new experience.
There are also plans to develop the area in future years to incorporate features, images, and armed forces personnel from other conflicts such as World War 2, the Korean War, the Falklands War, the Iraq War and the Afghanistan conflict.
South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie said: "The beauty of the developing woodland and artistry of the sculptures is absolutely breathtaking and can't fail to move anyone visiting Rozelle. The sacrifices and achievements of those who have served our country must always be remembered and this new Remembrance Woodland – which we believe is the only one of its kind in Scotland – is the perfect way to do just that.
"Our motto is 'ne'er forget the people' and the Rozelle Remembrance Woodland will keep our service personnel, their families, their memories and their legacies alive every day for many years to come."
John Walker, Chairman of The Maclaurin Trust and the Arts at Rozelle Project said: "Many from our community joined the effort to serve the country in the First World War and in conflicts since.
"There were a number who gave their lives and others who returned home injured and scarred. It is right that we commemorate their contribution in this Remembrance Woodland, which is in itself a collaboration of members of our community – among the Arts at Rozelle Project and those at South Ayrshire Council who maintain a first class park here in Ayr."