Brighter Whitehead’s wonderful willow project

Monday 18 December 2017

A community group in Whitehead have created a life-size willow sculpture of a plough horse to brighten up the area.

Brighter Whitehead’s wonderful willow project

The project, which also includes a community garden, was funded through the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council provide £20,000 to the Live Here Love Here programme annually, with half of this going directly to the community.

Brighter Whitehead created the sculptures that are surrounded with a small community garden of native fruit, vegetables and herbs. These can then be used as a free food source for locals.

Bill Pollock, chairman of Brighter Whitehead said, "The volunteer gardeners are delighted to have the support of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’s Live Here, Love Here programme. We restored an ancient plough and commissioned Welig Heritage Crafts to weave the life-size willow horse and ploughman. We had a great time creating this fantastic art piece, as did some sixty children from Whitehead Primary School.

“I would like to thank the Parks & Open Spaces staff for their continued support over the years and with support in this project specifically. Thanks to Clive and Elaine and Welig Heritage Crafts for their skilled work and dedication to the project, Sinead and Martin at The Bank House and Nicola Fitzsimons from Live Here Love Here for the opportunity.”

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Paul Reid, said, “These new sculptures are a great addition to the community. I hope this unique feature will attract visitors to Whitehead to show off what fantastic offerings this seaside town has and support our local traders. The community garden will also benefit the wildlife.

“I would like to personally thank Brighter Whitehead for creating this wonderful project and I would like to thank the children, principal and teachers from Whitehead Primary School for their support. Whitehead is already an award-winning town and I believe this willow sculpture further increases Whitehead’s charm.”

Nicola Fitzsimons, Community Development Officer, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful added, “Live Here Love Here was delighted to fund the Wonderful Willow Weaving project in Whitehead led by Brighter Whitehead. The ploughman and horse are a focal point to the community garden which will see wildflowers and herbs flourish in Spring. Brighter Whitehead are a fantastic example of a group who embody the message of Live Here Love Here, they show true community pride in all activities they do to make Whitehead a beautiful place for visitors and residents alike.”

The sculpture was unveiled at the official opening event at The Bank House, Whitehead.