Are woodpeckers really to blame for Valley Gardens vandalism? Bizarre theory raised by Harrogate resident

The scene in Valley Gardens looked like vandalism and was condemned as such by members of the public and Harrogate Borough Council.

Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 11:56 am
One of the damaged sculptures in Valley Gardens in Harrogate. Could it really be the work of woodpeckers?

The damage to two beautifully-carved large-scale wooden sculptures of wildlife in the public park's lovely New Zealand Garden prompted exasperation from the council and a pledge to make repairs - if possible.

But a Harrogate Advertiser reader has thrown up an alternative theory as to what may have happened to skilled sculptor Mick Burns' ornately-created wooden artworks which were first unveiled in 2010 in the Valley Gardens.

The reader speculates on the possibility of the vandalism being the work of a different culprit - a woodpecker.

Harrogate resident Hedley Triggs said: "We have a number of woodpeckers near us and it is interesting what they manage to dig into.

"Previously they dug into trees and gate posts, which is to be expected.

"But they have also dug the lime mortar out of our barn looking for nectar from Mason bees.

"They seem to be able to find soft wood in apparently healthy trees and relatively new timber.

"The other thing that made me think it was more natural rather than vandals was if it was mindless damage, I would have snapped the head off , not dug into it?

"There is no evidence for this, by the way, it is just an opinion.

"It would be interesting to see if the park wardens have had any evidence of woodpeckers nearby the sculptures in Valley Gardens."

So does the woodpecker theory really stand up to any scrutiny?

Harrogate Borough Council, for one, is not completely convinced.

A council spokesperson said: “Some of the damage on the sculptures in Valley Gardens could be caused by wildlife but sadly the majority of it, especially to the body of the kiwi, has been done deliberately.”

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