Erdmännchen by Michael Döring


Building a 36ft tall sculpture with bales of straw..Beyond imagination!

At 36ft tall and made out of straw, this impressive sculpture of a meerkat is anything but ‘simples’.

Proudly looking out over motorists in rural Nantwich, the statue is built on a 6ft base and has lights in its eyes.

The meerkat, made popular thanks to an insurance company’s TV adverts, is 30 times bigger than a real-life creature, and is the latest in a long line of impressive works of art.

Each year, staff at Snugburys Ice Cream Farm, Hurleston, celebrate the summer with a new design.

The concept started in 1998 with a huge Millennium Dome sculpture and has also seen a straw replica of the Lovell telescope, London Eye as well as last year’s Big Ben standing beside the A51 near Chester.

Director Chris Sadler and his wife Cheryl come up with the ideas and the creations are made by Mike Harper, who builds a steel skeleton which is then stuffed with hay.

Speaking about this year’s design, Mr Harper, 57, said: ‘Everyone loves meerkats, especially my wife, so we thought it would be a good idea.

‘We start planning it in January and then have a big push stuffing it at the end which takes about a month.

‘Mike is an amazing talent and was happy to have a go at building it.

‘People absolutely adore it – it says that it cheers them up, and it doesn’t cost them anything.’