Two families of deer have decided to make their home on a busy roundabout in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Two eye-catching sculptures have been installed on opposite sides of the Parkhouse Road traffic island on the A34, by Parkhouse Industrial Estate.

It’s the latest flora and fauna project commissioned by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, made by young engineering apprentices and sponsored by local businesses to highlight animals and plants native to the area as part of the borough’s successful Britain in Bloom campaign.

The models – featuring nine stags, does and fawns walking and grazing among the heather – have been developed by Luke Steadman, aged 20, and Bayley Palmer, 18, from Achieve Training using a design created by internationally renowned sculptor and North Staffordshire born Andy Edwards. Luke and Bayley were involved in the design, construction, assembly and welding processes under the guidance of Artworks Manager Phil Brown.

The silhouettes, ranging up to two metres tall, are galvanised to match the other sculptures – representing a brown trout, buzzard, dandelion and bee, frog, hare and a snowdrop – which feature on other key town centre gateways to enhance the environment and celebrate the borough’s natural heritage.

The latest installation is sponsored by Newcastle-under-Lyme Business Improvement District and Dereky Mawby Surfacing.

Cllr. Jill Waring, Cabinet member for leisure, culture and heritage, said: “The deer look magnificent. The Parkhouse roundabout is in a really prominent location, on a main route into Newcastle and Kidsgrove, so the families will be seen and appreciated by thousands of residents and visitors from all angles. Luke and Bayley should be very proud of their work – once again they’ve done a brilliant job.

“It’s great to add to our growing collection of popular sculptures depicting indigenous species. So far we’ve got mammals, an amphibian, a bird, fish, insect and a plant. They brighten up our roundabouts, attract positive comments and put a smile on people’s faces – something which is needed more than ever. Britain in Bloom is all about improving the appearance of the borough, celebrating our heritage and creating the conditions to encourage economic growth. The borough’s illustrious campaign goes back 30 years and we’re always coming up with new and innovative ways to stand out among regional and national competitors. The tangible benefits of an attractive environment are acknowledged and appreciated by local businesses who are proud to sponsor our various activities and have continued to do so at the same level during the pandemic, despite the difficulties many have faced, which is absolutely amazing.

“Our ongoing partnership with Achieve Training, apprentices and businesses is really fruitful in many ways. It’s also extremely rewarding to help prepare young people from the borough for work by giving them invaluable experience and the opportunity to develop their skills.”

Achieve Training is the largest apprenticeship provider in Staffordshire.

Dan Canavan, Executive Director of Achieve Training, said: “We’re delighted to work alongside Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council to produce this fabulous new sculpture, which has been skilfully crafted by two talented young apprentices in our Artworks team – Luke and Bayley.

“The two families of grazing deer will create a warm and tranquil scene on Parkhouse roundabout that will brighten the journeys of commuters and visitors to our town, and help to showcase Newcastle as a hub of culture, industry and local talent.”

(Main image Pictured (left to right) are Bayley, from May Bank, Phil Brown, Artworks Manager and Luke, who lives in Wolstanton.)

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