Corby Swan removed after locals damage it

The black swan in her original surroundings of Corby Boating Lake
The black swan in her original surroundings of Corby Boating Lake

The Corby Swan has been removed from the boating lake just three weeks after it was installed.

The 12ft sculpture, installed by Fermynwoods Contemporary Arts, was designed to challenge negative attitudes towards Corby and was due to be at Cottingham Road until October.

But it has been moved to Barnwell Country Park, in East Northamptonshire, where FCA bosses say there is a ‘different audience’, after people climbed all over it causing damage to the resin.

Director Yasmin Cavin said: “We’re not happy about it having to move it.

“People of all ages were seeing it as a challenge to climb it.

“I went regularly and we didn’t mind a two-year-old sitting on it but it’s not fair when you’re brushing off footprints that are an adult size 12.

“It’s not a climbing frame, it’s a statue and a piece of art.”

The swan had drawn praise from local people and children last week told the Northants Telegraph how impressed they were with it.

Yasmin added: “We saw parents allowing teenagers to climb on it.

“It could take a very young person because it’s made of steel and very strong which is why it didn’t collapse, but the resin cracked.

“We’ve had to fix it and move it to Barnwell Country Park.

“It’s sad to say, but the park in Corby is used by young people who are bored. It’s used by people at night to drink in and they won’t respect the sculpture.

“It’s a different audience at Barnwell.

“It breaks my heart to say it and we hoped that the sculpture would be treated with more respect in Corby but sadly it wasn’t.”

There are rangers at Northants County Council-owned Barnwell who have agreed to keep a closer eye on the swan.

Yasmin added: “They were absolutely delighted when we suggested it could go there.

“They regularly patrol the space and volunteered to go and ask anyone climbing on it to get off.

“We’re also installing signs.”

Fermynwoods had some fabulous feedback from people who saw the swan in Corby. Yasmin said she had spotted food on the ground around it from people ‘feeding’ it and children had been spotted curling up in front of it pretending to be eggs.

The black swan sculpture was designed by artist Kenny Hunter. Black swans were discovered in 1697, negating the long-held belief that only white swans existed - challenging the prevailing view of the time.

Ironically, the black Corby Swan was a metaphor to show that the prevailing negative view of Corby that people have is wrong.