Brown bear spotted in Barnoldswick garden is unbearably good sculpture

A beautiful brown bear has made an appearance at a garden in Barnoldswick, but passers-by need not worry, the ursine wonder is actually a very lifelike sculpture.

Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 5:17 pm
The tree-mendous bear sculpture

Concerned that recent high winds might topple his towering 80ft. conifer, Brogden Lane resident Sean McParland decided he wanted more than just a stump to replace the impressive tree in his front garden, and so sought the help of respected sculptor Tim Burgess from Cheshire.

Tim, a retired Chief Superintendent from Greater Manchester Police, has found fame nationwide with his wooden sculptures so Sean tasked him with creating a huge bear out of the former conifer.

"I had an 80ft. conifer in the front garden which had been wobbling quite a bit in the breeze. I was concerned it might come down because they're notoriously shallow-rooted but I didn't just want to leave a stump there," Sean explained.

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"I did a bit of research on the internet and found Tim's work, which had been exhibited at country shows. He'd done sculptures of owls, eagles and knights so I asked if he could do a bear.

"He agreed and was due to come in April but lockdown meant he has only been able to come out now. I'm delighted. It looks fantastic. Everyone who has passed by the house has commented on how well it looks. One couple said they had seen bears in gardens in Canada but they might well have meant real ones!"

Sean, who works in finance, employed a local man to chop down the tree in readiness for the "arrival" of the bear, which now stands proudly in the garden at 5ft. 8in.

He added: "My teenage son Benji loves it. We haven't given it a name yet though. Remarkably, Tim did the sculpture in just six hours. He must have arms like Popeye!

"We just have to feed it some preserver every now and then."