RESIDENTS in a county village have received a woolly winter surprise with the installation of some sculpted sheep to mark its agricultural past.
Charity Groundwork North East has been working with social landlord Isos Housing and Mears to make environmental improvements to Ellington.
This has included the metal-clad sheep made by blacksmith James Godbold alongside some new seating intended to mimic the ‘pinfold’ enclosures for holding stray sheep and other animals, which used to be part of the area’s landscape.
The works began last month after extensive consultation with the local community over the summer and early autumn.
All of the improvements are being funded by Isos with the aim of enhancing the landscape surrounding some of its homes in Ellington, making the village a more pleasant place to live.
The pinfold seating area has been located close to two of the sheep. Its historic function was as an enclosure to hold stray animals and owners could collect them on payment of a fine.
Jon Twelves, assistant director in the customers and communities directorate at Isos, said: “We’re really pleased to be funding these new sculptures for Ellington. We believe in building and supporting the communities where we work and projects like this one from Groundwork give everyone a lift.”
“The physical landscape enhancements that Isos is making in the area are supported by residents and proving to be a positive change that will help to bring the community closer together for the benefit of their health and well-being and enjoyment of green spaces.”
All of the improvements were designed after residents expressed a desire to create more visually interesting and diverse spaces in the village and encourage habitats for wildlife.
Others include the provision of boulders for informal play for children, beech hedges and railings to create semi-private spaces and tree and bulb planting that will offer seasonal colour in green spaces and a more varied experience for the people of Ellington.
In addition to the physical improvements, children at Ellington First School had the chance to get actively involved in improving the environment through a bulb planting session, which was attended by 120 pupils.
Headteacher Kevin Vardy said: “The bulb planting fits in perfectly with the school curriculum and the children realised that through their hard work and effort they were contributing to improving the land and making the area more pleasant for their community.”