Great to see artist Patrick Haines latest sculptural piece unveiled at Bath Riverside but l do have to say his ‘Jenyn’s Seat’ is currently lost in the middle of a vast expanse of grass at the centre of the new Queen Elizabeth Park.
It should have been surrounded by three oak trees but – for whatever reason – they died and were dug up and removed.
Elsewhere on the site part of a length of hazel hedging also went brown and had to be removed.
And piling on the agony, three more trees have had to be felled – this time due to an invasive insects!
Seems these imports from the Netherlands harboured caterpillars of the Oak Processionary Moth and – following an inspection by the Forestry Commission – they were cut down.
The developers, Crest Nicholson, say the trees will be replaced this autumn when – l am hoping – the three oaks that are meant to embrace Jenyn’s Seat will also be replaced.
Patrick’s artwork is inspired by a Victorian clergyman and naturalist who came to live in Bath and who turned down a round-the-world-voyage on the Beagle – because of his parish duties – and who recommended a young man called Charles Darwin to go in his place!
Jenyn’s collections of books and specimens – and correspondence with Darwin – is now the property of the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution in Queen Square – and can be viewed.
Patrick was responsible for installing the nearby Herschel Chairs – back in 2013. They are sited near the Victoria Bridge and pay tribute to William Herschel and his sister Caroline who made some amazing astronomical discoveries while living in Bath.
Good to see the two ornamental scrolls from the Upper Bristol Road end of the old Destructor Bridge have also been unveiled with accompanying plaques explaining their origin and referencing the former industrial use of this area.
I was saddened to see that a mixture of vandalism and neglect has been taking its toll on Bath’s very special – and expensively restored – suspension bridge.
The Victoria Bridge is once more sprouting vegetation on top of her Egyptian-styled pylon uprights.
The one on the Riverside bank bears the markings of vandals too.
Surely there is a case for a proper maintenance programme and some CCTV here. The only nearby camera l spotted was on top a pole which seems to have met an accident!
I don’t think l will go into one story l heard which suggests it was a deliberate move to destroy a particular viewpoint!!
I found contractors cleaning stone outside a new residential development on the other side of the river too.
It’s good to know there is a community action group – the Riverside Community Voice (https://www.riversidecommunityvoice.org.uk) – and l would hope all those living in the new development would lend support to stop outsiders ruining what is both their home surroundings and a super new riverside recreational area for Bathonians in general.