War horse sculpture plan gets go-ahead

An image of what a new Featherstone war horse sculpture could look like, courtesy of Cod Steaks and the town council.
An image of what a new Featherstone war horse sculpture could look like, courtesy of Cod Steaks and the town council.
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A towering war horse statue to honour fallen soldiers is one step closer to being built in a meadow in Featherstone.

Planning officers at Wakefield Council have given the green light for the majestic 20ft sculpture to be installed at land off Wakefield Road.

Artist Sue Lipscombe of Cod Steaks design company and Featherstone Town Council have been planning the art work as a permanent reminder of those who lost their lives during the First World War.

It is also designed to honour the town’s connection to horses through its farming and mining history.

Featherstone Town Councillor Margaret Isherwood said: “We are very pleased that the application has been passed.

“We think the war horse will be of great benefit to not just Featherstone but the whole Wakefield district.

“It is something that is going to generate national interest as it is so unique and hopefully attract visitors to our area.

“It will add to the cultural offering we have in Wakefield including The Hepworth and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park as well as providing a lasting way to honour our fallen war heroes.”

The sculpture will be made of steel and clad in locally-grown willow, with Wild Poppies and French Bluets planted at its feet.

It will be built at the edge of Mill Pond Meadow, where more than 350 trees have been planted, each one honouring the life of a fallen soldier, to form a memorial wood.

Schoolchildren will be involved in the project and have already taken part in workshops to build models of the sculpture.

Fellow councillor Graham Isherwood said: “It’s going to be brilliant. We have had lots of support so far.

“And it has been a real community effort, with the work on the war horse as well as the planting in the memorial wood.”

Councillors will now work to secure funding for the project.

They are also considering creating an app which people can use to tour around Featherstone, including visiting the war horse site.