Llanwrtyd Wells bear statue rehomed after 'road scare'

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The bear lying on the vergeImage source, Chris Prichard
Image caption,
Down but not out - the bear on Tuesday

A 10ft-high wooden statue of a bear blamed for causing a road accident by scaring a driver is being moved.

The grizzly was taken from its position alongside the A483 at Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys on Monday.

The plan sparked protests by townspeople last Friday, including a Teddy bear's picnic.

The Welsh Government said it had reached agreement with the owner to rehome the bear where it could still be seen but would not be a hazard.

The statue - carved from a tree trunk - had marked the entrance to the now-closed Cambrian Woollen Mill for more than 15 years.

Image caption,
The bear in its original position outside the Cambrian Woollen Mill, now closed and up for sale

But it was claimed it caused a crash when a driver thought it was real and swerved and so the Welsh Government set a deadline for its removal.

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In a statement on Tuesday a spokeswoman said: "Happily, we are the bearer of good news."

She said an agreement had been reached with the owner of the bear to rehome it and other items "to an area of land where they are still visible but do not present a hazard to passing motorists.

"Our agents were satisfied with the decision, and offered to assist the owner by moving the bear to its new position."

Media caption,

A teddy bear's picnic was held to try to save the statue

Town councillor Peter James had described the bear as "iconic to the area" and said it sounded like a joke.

He says he is now "over the moon" to hear it was being saved.

The town also has a large sculpture of a red kite in the centre.

"Llanwrtyd is a very big tourist town with lots of events through the year so these statues are part and parcel of that experience," he said.

Image source, Rude Health / Geograph
Image caption,
Llanwrtyd Wells' red kite sculpture has a 16ft wingspan

Chris Pritchard lives opposite the bear and thought it caused a hazard as drivers pulled over and stopped.

"We were concerned about the number of young children having their photographs taken by the bear whilst the adult stood in or crossed the main road on a dangerous bend to take the picture," he said.

"Still, I haven't got to look at that bear every morning now."

Image source, Chris Prichard
Image caption,
Stumped - the empty plinth

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