On World Ranger Day (Saturday 31 July) a restored carving of the Woodsman was unveiled at a special event at Langdon Hills Country Park, Westley Heights, in honour of the sculptor Dave Chapple.
Guests including Cllr Sue Shinnick, the Mayor of Thurrock, Stephen Metcalfe MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, Deputy Mayor of Basildon, Cllr Luke Mackenzie and Basildon Cllr Chris Allen (Langdon Hills ward) attended the unveiling under COVID-19 secure guidelines.
The original Woodsman carving of William Langdon Woodward was created from a 200-year-old English oak tree that fell during the great storm of 1987. It was originally sculpted by Dave Chapple in 1996, and has been restored by the Friends of Langdon Hills over the past 2 years.
The project was jointly funded by a Heritage Lottery Grant from Land of the Fanns, which was matched by Thurrock Council. It was led by Nick Stanley, Senior Ranger at Thurrock Council.
Mayor of Thurrock, Cllr Sue Shinnick, said: "I'm delighted that the Woodsman has been unveiled on World Ranger Day for visitors to enjoy for years to come.
"This is a culmination of several years of intensive works by the volunteers of Friends of Langdon Hills, who persisted with the project despite delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This will now be the identifying feature across Langdon Hills Country Park and is a true testament to our heritage.
"It is even more poignant that this carving has been revealed on World Ranger Day – a day dedicated to commemorating rangers killed or injured in the line of duty, and a celebration of the work rangers do to protect our world’s natural and cultural heritage."
Photo below: at the unveiling ceremony.