Beds, Herts & Bucks

Giant straw bale dog sculpture in Stanbridge destroyed by fire

Straw bale sculpture Image copyright Helen Brown
Image caption The sculpture had been nicknamed Bailey

A giant sculpture of a dog made from straw bales which was destroyed in a fire will not be rebuilt amid fears arsonists will strike again.

The competition entry took Leighton Buzzard Young Farmers four hours to build at a farm in Stanbridge, Bedfordshire.

Chairman Callum Michie said the group was "shocked" and "demoralised" by the fire, which caused £2,400 of damage.

He said he was worried it would "happen again" if the sculpture was remade.

Image copyright Callum Michie
Image caption About £400 worth of straw bales were on top of a £2,000 trailer

The structure, nicknamed Bailey, was built for the Bedfordshire Young Farmers sculpture competition to mark new members' week, according to the The Leighton Buzzard Observer.

Mr Michie, whose farm it was built on, said he last saw the 4m (13ft) by 10m (33ft) sculpture on Sunday. His sister called him on Monday to tell him it had "gone".

He said it would not be rebuilt and said: "I'm worried they will come back and it will happen again."

Image copyright Glenn Michie
Image caption The sculpture was modelled on Sidney the sausage dog, pictured here in Callum Michie's arms

The straw bales were worth about £400 and the trailer it was on about £2,000. Mr Mitchie hopes the costs will be covered by insurance.

He said the group could still "go on to win" the competition, as instead of a site visit, they will submit photos of the work to judges.

To those responsible for the fire, he added: "If you are bored and haven't got anything to do, join us [at the competition] as you'll get a lot more enjoyment than setting fire to things."

Bedfordshire Police said it was aware of the arson and asked anyone with any information to get in touch.

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Image copyright Oliver Way
Image caption The burnt out remains of the sculpture were discovered on Monday morning

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