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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 April 2006, 18:45 GMT 19:45 UK
Driving fears for Tolkien statue
Artists impression of how the Treebeard sculpture could look in Moseley
The Treebeard sculpture is planned for Moseley Green
A Lord of the Rings sculpture planned for Birmingham is to be moved so it does not distract drivers.

The 20ft (6m) statue is being proposed by the great-nephew of JRR Tolkien who wrote the popular fantasy trilogy.

The sculpture by Tim Tolkien would depict the character Treebeard from the books and is planned for Moseley Green, close to where Tolkien grew up.

Mr Tolkien said it could be placed among trees instead of on the pavement so it is hidden from motorists.

JRR Tolkien was born in South Africa on 3 January, 1892 but moved with his family to Wake Green Road in Moseley at the age of three.

His great-nephew said a tribute to the author had been planned for a long time.

Moseley connections

"It has been part of a process I have been involved in for quite a few years," he said.

He said many options had been looked at but the sculpture of Treebeard was inspired by the idea that Moseley Green was once an open space.

"It is about bringing the forest or the green back into Moseley town," he added.

Another sculpture by Tim Tolkien, of a number of joined rings, can be seen in a nearby pub.

JRR Tolkien
JRR Tolkien is said to have been inspired by his childhood memories

The idea for a tribuite first came to light in the late 1990s when people living in Moseley said they would like to celebrate the area's connections with JRR Tolkien.

Tim Tolkien first put forward plans for the sculpture about one year ago.

The new plans for the statue will go before council planners following earlier objections from highways officials and other objections.

Last year a Birmingham nature reserve that is thought to have inspired parts of Tolkien's novels was renamed The Shire Country Park, after the place where hobbits dwell in Middle Earth.

It includes Moseley Bog, which dates back to the Bronze Age, and is thought to have inspired the "Old Forest" in the books.

Sarehole Mill, near the family home and now a museum, is viewed as being the "great mill" of The Shire.

The 96ft (29m) high Perrot's Folly and the nearby Waterworks Tower, in Edgbaston, are also seen by many as the real-life counterparts of the Two Towers of Gondor.

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