A kingfisher statue loved by the community of Royal Wootton Bassett has been taken away to be assessed for damage after it was vandalised. 

The decorated bird was part of an arts trail in Jubilee Lake and was able to stay in its spot after investment from local businesses prevented it from being auctioned off at the end of the trail. 

It has stayed there ever since until earlier this week when it was discovered in the lake itself and not on dry land where it should be. 

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Members of the community rescued the sculpture from the water and the Wootton Bassett Town Council, which co-sponsored it, has since collected it from the park.

Mayor Steve Walls suspects it was deliberate criminal damage and that said they are hoping to fix any damage that may have been caused. 

"The kingfisher is now in our workshop where we'll be seeing how much damage has been caused and working out what repairs are needed. 

"It's made out of fibreglass so it could easily have picked up some damage when it was moved and dumped in the lake."

"The sculpture is quite large and was on a plinth and was fixed to the ground in a way so I think it would've taken more than one person to move it and put it in the lake.

"A lot of people are upset about it and I'm offended that people would do this.

"We're now working on a plan to bring it back to the public safely and possibly properly secure it to the ground where it was. 

"But we're also considering moving it somewhere safer."

The town council praised the community for their reaction and Bassett-based Safewell Ltd, which also helped pay for the sculpture, echoed those sentiments.

The firm's manager Nick Evans said: “I’m saddened to see it has been vandalised so soon. But It’s great to see that some residents rescued it from the lake and the council have updated us this morning to say they have a plan to reinstate it in a safe position.

“It’s disappointing to think that someone might have intentionally chosen to unseat it from its position, but I’m optimistic about its future as the community has really worked together to help rescue it.

"It’ll still be there when I go down with my family, or when anyone else goes there. And the reason for doing what we did remains, the vandalism doesn’t change anything."