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Sculptures celebrating the history of Sutton Manor have been installed by the Forestry Commission.
Five cast steel monoliths have been placed along the heritage trail, which winds its way around the land that was formerly Sutton Manor Colliery in St Helens.
Adam Evans, Forest Ranger for the area, said:
“These sculptures will be a fitting tribute to the mining history of Sutton Manor, which has helped form the beautiful landscape that is there today. Each one is taller than me and they are part of a real community effort that has made the heritage trail such a great attraction for the area.”
The Heritage Trail stretches for more than half a mile around Sutton Manor and provides details about the site’s history.
Forestry Commission rangers installed the sculptures – known as the Green Flames – this month. The monoliths were designed by children from Sutton Manor Primary School and the project was funded by Heritage Lottery.
Each monolith is about 6ft and carries a verse written about the area by the children.
They recall Sutton Manor’s mining past, which continued until March 1991.
One verse reads: There is a wisdom in our bones, In our aching backs and blistered feet. We blink the dust from our eyes, every time we awake and because we remember we remain.
Further work is due to take place on ponds in the area. The Forestry Commission plans to improve the habitats to create better environments for endangered animals such as water voles.
The Forestry Commission has been managing Sutton Manor for the past 10 years and has worked hard to encourage wildlife to thrive. Roe deer have recently been spotted there for the first time and there is also a wide variety of birds living in the area.
Adam Evans said:
“We are trying to strike a balance at Sutton Manor between encouraging wildlife while still maintaining the site’s links with the past.”
Notes to editors
The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. Further information can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/england
Media Contact: Andrew Moores on 01606 888111 or Richard Topley, of the Forestry Commission, on 01606 324909.