Tree-carving funds

An appeal for funds to pay for tree trunks to be carved has raised more than half the money needed as a deadline to engage a carver to start work in the spring approaches.

Oamaru businessman Alan McLay in July launched a campaign to raise $11,000 to carve four big macrocarpa trunks, through the Friendly Bay Bridge Restoration Trust he formed, to complete a project that paid to have three others sculpted.

So far, $6500 has been pledged through the ANZ Bank and Berry and Co.

The trees were scheduled to be felled in 2013 for safety reasons given their proximity to the Steampunk playground being developed at Friendly Bay.

Mr McLay convinced the council to leave five trunks standing at about 6m tall.

Three have been transformed by Picton artist Peter Laggan with carvings of birds of the forest, birds of the sea and animals of the sea, at a cost of about $30,000.

They have become a favourite with visitors, particularly children. Now, Mr McLay is aiming to raise about $11,000 to complete carving of the remaining two.

Some ideas have been discussed with Mr Laggan about what could be carved, but no decisions had been made.

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