A KINGFISHER sculpture saved by the Royal Wootton Bassett community after a lengthy campaign has been unceremoniously plunged into a nearby lake to the dismay of people walking past.

The sculpture was first discovered in the water on Sunday morning by Clive Telling who found it a short distance away from where it should be. 

He posted photos of his discovery on the Royal Wootton Bassett Community Facebook page asking 'Why would someone do this to the kingfisher at Jubilee Lake.' 

Read: Campaign launched to keep kingfisher sculpture in Royal Wootton Bassett

Read: Town's kingfisher is saved following 11th hour donations

A rescue operation was then mounted by Josh Bray, his friend Dan and his mother Caz who fished the kingfisher out of the 'freezing' water and returned it to its rightful spot. 

"So, we managed to get the kingfisher out the lake and back to the position it came from, it just needs council to come and fix it down properly. 

The 24-year-old who lives in Wootton Bassett says he couldn't leave the statue in the water. 

"I saved the kingfisher as my 2-year-old son Leo loves the lake and the wildlife and we go to see the kingfisher since it was placed there as do so many other children," he said.

"I also didn't realise but when I pulled it out there was a plaque on there as a memorial to a person's recent death which also touched me."

Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council has now removed the statue to assess any potential damage it may have sustained and get it restored. 

The exact circumstances surrounding how the Kingfisher ended up in the lake are not known, but the council did label it an act of vandalism in a post on Facebook. 

It said: "I'm sure most of you may have heard that our beautiful kingfisher was vandalised on Saturday night/Sunday morning and mindlessly thrown in the lake.

"Thank you to so many of you for informing us and a big thank you to Josh Bray and company for managing to rescue the sculpture.

"If anyone has any information or saw any suspicious behaviour at the lake over the weekend, please contact the Town Council."

The colourful model, which was part of a 22 sculpture art trail, was due to be auctioned off at the end of the trail, but townspeople campaigned to find the funds needed to buy it and keep it at the location. 

11th hour funding provided by local businesess, including Bassett-based Safewell Ltd, helped them reach the £3,000 they needed to buy the bird created and decorated by Stroud sculptor Hannah Dyson.