Take away these popular sculptures?

Burnby hall gardens
Burnby hall gardens

CALLS to give a family of giraffes a permanent home at Burnby Hall Gardens are being made by visitors, according to the venue’s vice chairman.

David Geekie says the huge sculptures have attracted more attention than any other feature at the picturesque venue over the summer months, and it would be good if they could be kept.

The giraffes are part of a display created by a company called Matombo, based at Easingwold, which has a large team of talented artists in Zimbabwe who are paid directly to make the artwork.

Mr Geekie said: “The giraffes are part of a sculpture exhibition this season and there a number of other pieces placed around the gardens.

“It has been the giraffes, however, that have commanded the most attention.

“They look so very much at home as they stand beside the lake and visitors must have taken more photographs of them than of any other feature - even the water lilies, which are particularly splendid this year, have taken second place!”

Mr Geekie says they are particularly fitting given the history behind Burnby Hall Gardens and adventurer Major Percy Stewart, who travelled the world as a big game hunter.

Once owned by Major Stewart, Burnby Hall Gardens is home to a museum of animals and artefacts collected around the world.

“If Major Stewart were alive today how intrigued and excited he would be to see a delightful family group of giraffes contentedly browsing beside the water, and how he would be especially pleased to learn that these sculptures were the creation of a Zimbabwean artist” added Mr Geekie.

“They would be a very positive reminder of the many exhilarating and happy safaris he and his wife spent in the country he knew as Rhodesia.

“The giraffes are attractive in their own right but are also a reminder of that other life that the Stewarts had when they embarked on their many adventurous trips to every continent in the world.”

The gardens’ trusts has already received a number of donations for a special giraffe fund but more money is required.

There is a box for donations within the visitor centre at the entrance or cheques can be made payable to the The Giraffe Fund, BHG and sent to, The Chairman, Stewart’s Burnby Hall Gardens & Museum Trust, The Balk, Pocklington, York YO42 2QF.