SOMERSET’S iconic Willow Man sculpture is in danger of being dismantled after a bid to raise money to secure its future looked set to be unsuccessful.

While the 40-foot statue was never meant to become a permanent fixture, it instantly captured the imagination of locals and visitors to the region after it was built beside the M5 near Bridgwater in 2000.

Artist Serena de la Hay created what became a notable landmark in the area.

But the Willow Man needs to be rebuilt and, combined with the cost of continued maintenance, his future has been thrown into doubt.

The artist and campaigners launched a crowdfunding appeal to raise £75,000 to carry out the rebuilding work and to establish a pot for future maintenance.

Sadly, funds raised so far have fallen short of the target and Serena is now reflecting on its future.

The campaign is set to end at 10.30pm today (June 7).

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

She said: "I have been with the Willow Man for 18 years and I am not ready to let him go.

"During that time there have been highs and lows and it has been an interesting experience.

"I think I am going to see the campaign through but I don't think we will raise the funds needed.

"Once the campaign is done I think I will need to assess where to go next.

"Ultimately, the Willow Man is in danger and we need to find a funding solution to ensure it stays."

The Willow Man is made of woven withies over a three-tonne steel frame and it is protected by a 40-metre moat which was installed after vandals torched it in 2001.


READ MORE: Crowdfunding bid to save Willow Man ends on Thursday


However, funding from the public ensured he was able to rise from the ashes.

And now Serena needs support more than ever before to secure the Willow Man's future as it will need support 'long term'.

"Making small repairs to the Willow Man just won't work as he wasn't meant to last for as long as he has," she added.

"We need the money so we can keep him for residents and visitors to enjoy."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

So far, the appeal to save the iconic structure has raised more than £16,000 and Serena thanked residents and a local business for donating the cash.


READ MORE: Click here to visit the crowdfunding page


"All of the money that has been raised so far has been donated by residents," she said.

"We have had one donation from a local business and I am so thankful for it all.

"People in Somerset love the Willow Man, I am going to take a step back after the campaign has ended and see where we can go next."