A ROMAN soldier carved from an old diseased tree has been officially welcomed to the village of Heddon-on-the-Wall.

Victrix was carved from a large chestnut tree which stood on Taberna Close in front of the cafe.

After being condemned due to disease, a group was formed called Heddon Branches which decided that instead of being chopped down, the tree should be turned into something of historical relevance to the area.

Fund-raising and donations totalling £3,500 paid for tree carver Tommy Craggs to come in and carve the tree into a Roman legionnaire – in fitting with Heddon’s location on the Roman Wall.

Now the sculpture has been completed and painted, and an opening ceremony was held on Friday with residents, county councillors and members of the Heddon Branches among those in attendance.