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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 April, 2003, 08:50 GMT 09:50 UK
Wicker otter is 'Angel of the West'
Otter at Cilgerran
Full stretch: The otter will be taken down at the end of the summer
Motorists have been doing a double-take near a west Wales town.

And that is because a 26ft tall wicker otter has been built at the Welsh Wildlife Centre at Cilgerran, near Cardigan.

The structure made using willow, hazel, oak, and ash is being compared to the Angel of the North, which overlooks the A1 in the north east of England.

The project took about seven weeks and most of the wood came from the local reserve
Michelle Cain, artist

But unlike the Gateshead sculpture, the otter is not a permanent feature.

It will be taken down at the end of the summer and sold to raise funds for the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales which owns the centre.

Birthday

Otters are a common sight at the reserve but the latest addition has been made to mark the first birthday of the trust, which was formed by merging the West Wales Wildlife Trust and Glamorgan Wildlife Trust.

The centre commissioned local artist Michelle Cain build the realistic emblem.

She described how she planned the creation of the 8m tall creature.

"Firstly, I built the inner frame or skeleton with hazel and Somerset willow," she said.

Otter's head being pulled by a tractor
Head height: The otter overlooks the river Teifi and Cardigan

"I then completed the head and used its dimensions to proportion the rest of the structure."

Ms Cain was then helped by volunteers to lift the otter into position before completing the bottom half of its body on site.

"The project took about seven weeks and most of the wood came from the local reserve," said Ms Cain.

Another visitor attraction to the Cilgerran centre is a new sensory wildlife garden, made using native and naturalised plants which appeal to all five senses.

The trust is now the biggest of the six in Wales and is responsible for more than 1,000 nature reserves.




SEE ALSO:
Water Buffalo go wild at park
16 Apr 00  |  Wales
Historic castle is saved
03 Apr 03  |  Wales
Otter numbers rise
23 Jul 02  |  Wales


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