A cash-strapped council has been slammed after they erected a bizarre 40ft-high golden monument – in a NATURE RESERVE.
The £100,000 space-age structure dominates the skyline of the tranquil park, which boasts several lagoons, woodland habitats and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The huge tower – named ‘Gold Leaf: Buried Sunlight’ – was built following a regeneration of the north Warwickshire’s Pooley Country Park.
But locals in the half-timbered village of Polesworth, Warks., have condemned the ”monstrosity”, saying that ”only those in UFOs” could appreciate it.
Resident Martin Haigh, 53, said: ”I visited the nature reserve just yesterday and spotted this large, golden column on top of the hill.
”I – and many other locals – think it’s an eyesore.
”This nature reserve has outstanding beauty, especially this time of the year – why ruin it with this expensive folly?”
Another resident said: ”Looking out of my lounge window, what did I see?
”Well I wasn’t actually sure – was it a new mobile phone mast? Had a factory been built with a very prominent chimney?
”No – it is, apparently, a massive artwork that has been positioned on top of the nature reserve.
”I use the expression ‘artwork’ loosely as it is, in fact, nothing more than a pile of gold-coloured metal slices that claims to represent silver birch leaves.
”However, only those in planes, helicopters, microlights or UFOs will appreciate this.
”The enormous expense of this project was driven through by councillors – few, if any of whom, have to view this monstrosity on a daily basis.”
Warwickshire County Council choose the ”golden tower of leaves” from a range of concepts, as birch trees were one of the first species to re-colonise the former coalmine which closed in 1966.
Cllr Tilly May, who officially unveiled the monument on September 30, today defended the artwork as ”different and thought-provoking”.
She said: ”We were always clear that we wanted something different and thought-provoking and something that would act as a focal point for the park.
”In particular, we want to draw visitors’ attention from the motorway and, of course, to encourage people when they get to the park to explore the pools and the nature reserve.”
Paula Cheesman, the council’s Country Parks Visitor Development Manager, said: ”The artwork is the centrepiece of the regeneration project which is essential for the long-term future success of Pooley Country Park.”
The tower, visible from the M42, was funded by the government’s National Coalfields Programme.