A MAN who spent three months sculpting a wooden work of art in a Swindon park was shocked to see it vandalised the day after he finished it.

Darren Tiley, of Swindon, put the finishing touches to the sculpture at the Lawns estate of an otter and a fish on August 29 - it was later snapped off the block of wood it had been carved from.

The 52-year-old has always had a passion for sculptures and has been exhibiting his work for free around Swindon, with one of his other works on show at Stanton Park.

He chose to do the chainsaw carving at the Lawns after he came across a large tree stump that was rotting away.

Darren said: “I’m gutted for the people who have followed my process from start to finish as they won’t be able to see the finished piece in person. We don’t know if it is fixable but what I do know is that we won’t be reinstalling it where it was.

“I got in touch with the authorities a few months back after seeing the chance to turn an unused stump into an attraction at the park.

“The council were fully behind this idea, so I got insurance and spent my spare time after work or on the weekends to create this.

“To me it was all about the experience of the process and seeing the joy it brought to people’s faces; it’s just a shame that the minority have to ruin it for the majority.”

The physical therapist in sports massage sees creating the sculptures as a way to unwind, and he spent four hours a day for three days of the week on the sculpture.

People on an Old Town Facebook group expressed their anger.

Angie Lewis wrote: “What is wrong with people?”

Lewis Farrant said: “NO! What the hell is the matter with people? All that chap’s hard work has gone to waste.”

Sara Mills-White commented: “Loved seeing this in the Lawns the other day and absolutely gutted to see it’s been knocked down. Such a shame.”

Darren said he is grateful to residents for saving the remains of the sculpture, which he says are ‘extremely heavy.’

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “We were very disappointed to hear that the sculpture had been damaged. We’ve searched the park for the bits that were removed but have been unable to find anything.

“We will continue to support Darren by looking at other possible locations for him to display his work, which certainly helps to spruce up our open spaces.”