Padiham’s ‘missing nymph’ mystery is solved!

"Water nymph'' tree in Padiham's Centenary Garden.'Photo Ben Parsons
"Water nymph'' tree in Padiham's Centenary Garden.'Photo Ben Parsons

townsfolk in Padiham were stumped by a problem the Express has got to the root of!

For one of the two “water nymphs” has disappeared from the town’s Centenary Garden.

The willowy pair, which were previously gnarled old trees, were transformed into sculptures in 2002 and the unusual sight attracted a lot of comment and admiring glances.

But recently one of the pair disappeared, leaving just a stump. The disappearance was reported by local businessman, optician and town councillor, Mr Mark Jinkinson, who said: “I just happened to notice one day that one of the trees had disappeared. I went over to the garden to have a look and it wasn’t clear at first if the tree had fallen over or even been uprooted and stolen.”

An investigation by the Express has revealed parks department staff from Burnley Council had been forced to remove the tree as the root had rotted and become soft. So the tree had to be removed and destroyed for safety. Her “sister” is still standing proud and a check of her roots has found it to be safe and secure.

A woodpecker has even made a nest in the side of the sculpture.

The unique tree sculptures were the idea of Mr Steve Taylor, of Gawthorpe Environmental Movement, who wanted to rescue the dying trees. A professional sculptor specialising in “green art” was brought in to transform the trees and breathe new life into the dead willows that were becoming a safety risk as their branches were overhanging and in danger of falling off.

Mr Taylor said: “It was inevitable something like this would happen over time. There are no plans at the moment to replace the tree.”