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Sculptor Friedel Buecking hits out at Enfield Borough Council for Trent Country Park eviction
A sculptor based in Trent Country Park claims he is being forced to leave for health and safety reasons.
Friedel Buecking has worked in the park for six years but he says Enfield Borough Council is trying to evict him as he occasionally uses a chainsaw to complete his work.
The 66-year-old uses the Oakwood park as it gives him enough space to create large wooden sculptures including tables, benches and wooden animals.
Members of the Friends of Trent Country Park are backing the artist in his fight to stay put, considering him an an “asset” to the park.
Mr Buecking, who has built wooden tables and chairs in the park for people to use, said: “It is an activity which the community come and see.
“They can sit there and play at the same time and they see I am working on pieces which change all the time.
“I hear people who don’t know me say ‘let’s go to the wooden playground’ so that's the sort of general atmosphere of it.”
The grandfather-of-two, from Saint Albans, feels part of the park’s community and would not like to move away from friends he has built over the years.
He said the council asked him to leave four years ago but the Friends group sent a letter in support of his work and he was allowed to stay.
Mr Buecking, who is originally from Germany, uses some fallen branches to create his work, but brings the majority of wood from elsewhere.
He said he visits on average three times a week and avoids visiting during the weekend when it is busy.
Paul Matthews, treasurer for Friends of Trent Country Park, said the artist has a lot of support from park users.
He said: “We feel that he is an asset to the park. He has made a lot of things for the children and for people using the park to be able to sit on and have lunch.
"He brings a lot of his own material into the park so he is not a freeloader.”
Mr Matthews suggested the council should compromise by relocating him to the derelict tennis court by the Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service in the park.
Although the artist would prefer to stay in the park, he is desperate for the council to come up with an alternative solution to evicting him entirely.
He added: “I would be sad if it came to an end because I enjoy the contact with the park community who come and see me and the kids – there are lots of schools who come through regularly and sit there."
The Enfield Independent is waiting for a comment from the council.