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Forres Features launches name the dragon competition for carving on Cluny Hill

By Garry McCartney

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The 30ft beast needs a name ...
The 30ft beast needs a name ...

IF you go up to the woods today, you're in for a big surprise!

Community interest company Forres Features has invested in a new feature at the foot of Nelson's Tower - a 30ft carving of a dragon that children and adults with an imagination will love - and a prize competition is being run to give it a name!

Sandra MacIver of Forres Features confirmed the giant was paid for using funds generated by the Colours of Cluny events at Cluny Hill in 2016 and 2017.

She said: "The monster was carved from a rotting beech tree that had split and was letting water in. It was taken down for safety reasons during Colours of Cluny. It seemed a waste to just leave the trunk on the hill

"Children will scramble all over and around it now!"

Forres Features asked a Barclays Wood of Rafford employee to move the tree into place for carving by Pawel Drozd of Galloway Woodcarving, based at Farr near Inverness. Pawel has previously carved squirrels at Logie Steading.

Sandra said: "We gave him free reign for the design."

Carver Pawel Drozd with Sandra MacIver, Murray Drummond and Graham Murdoch of Forres Features.
Carver Pawel Drozd with Sandra MacIver, Murray Drummond and Graham Murdoch of Forres Features.

Pawel agreed to create something that would be interesting for visiting children.

He said: "Forres Features gave me some pointers as to what they would like but from the very start I knew that I wanted to carve a dragon.

"The initial design was slightly different but because of the fact that some parts of the tree were rotten, I had to change it."

The task was completed in six days.

Pawel said: "I started with chainsaws. Most of the work was done with different types then after removing the bulk of material I switched to power and hand tools.

"This has worked very well!"

Forres Features has launched a competition for local pupils to choose a name for the new dragon.

For a chance to win £100 for a child's school and £50 for them, email the child's full name and school attended, and their suggestion to forresfeatures@gmail.com

If the chosen name for the monster has been nominated by more than one child, names will be put into a hat to decide the winner.

Sandra added: "Get thinking and good luck!"

Forres Features has invested nearly £50,000 in Cluny Hill via improved pathways, soak-away installation, information boards and benches.

Earlier this summer Moray Council and stakeholders revealed that plans for the future maintenance of Cluny Hill are being formulated by contractor Tilhill Forestry covering the themes of tree management and maintenance; visitors and features, community and signage.

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