Fen Tiger sculpture crafted by apprentices to overlook the Fens at Chatteris park
PUBLISHED: 11:03 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:36 14 February 2020
A sculpture crafted by apprentices at Stainless Metalcraft that has sat in storage for three years will be installed at a Chatteris park to overlook the Fens.
The Fen Tiger was created over seven months in 2017 after apprentices were inspired to learn more about local history.
The unique piece of art will now sit on a stage within the Little Acre Fen Pocket Park after plans fell through for it to be placed on the island near the Applegreen garage.
Neil Kirby, apprentice trainer at Metalcraft, said: "We were approached by local production company 20Twenty to create a sculpture of a Fen Tiger.
"At first, I did not know what a Fen Tiger was and assumed it was a mythical animal, but it's actually the title for a person who used to live in the Fens during the 17th century.
"These people lived in the Fens and it was waterlogged and they walked around on stilts.
"They actually lived a wretched life."
The team at Metalcraft read the book 'Chatteris in Myth and Memory' by Polly Howat to discover more before they started work on the project.
The term Fen Tigers was first used of the local inhabitants by Dutch engineers who arrived to assist with the drainage of the Fens, leading to land reclamation.
"It took seven months to complete because they worked on it alongside doing their apprenticeship," Neil continued.
"It had been in storage for three years on our site and we would only bring it out for different events and for schoolchildren to see.
"The original idea was for it to be positioned on the roundabout but due to planning constraints that wouldn't have been possible, so we thought about having it at the front entrance to Metalcraft.
"But then we thought about it and realised that the apprentices are from March and Chatteris and the park would be the ideal spot for it to take pride of place."
The Fen Tiger has already been moved to the site and is hoped to be installed in the coming weeks.