Artist moo-ved to action by tale of cow’s neglect

Axminster sculpture is set for a clean-up after being branded “a mossy mess”.

Axminster’s famous concrete cow is finally set for a much-needed clean up.

The statue of the animal and its drover – dubbed Bella and Farmer Fred - is a striking feature on the town centre walkway to Tesco.

But after years of neglect residents branded it a “mossy mess” and earlier this year town councillor Douglas Hull set out to find who was responsible for its upkeep.

He took up the case with East Devon District Council, which commissioned the work of art, but it refused to accept responsibility for cleaning it.

Instead officials there put him in touch with the artist who created it. And he was so moo-ved by the tale of neglect he has agreed to repair the cow and restore it to its original splendour.

“A local firm has also offered to maintain it once it is in pristine condition again,” Cllr Hull told town councillors last week.

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Cllr Paul Hayward wondered whether, in the long term, the district council would consider assigning the sculpture to the town council.

But Mayor Andrew Moulding said that was a financial responsibility that in the past they had “avoided like the plague”.

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