TREES used to carve new totem poles for a North Tyne village were felled last week as the project took another step towards fruition.

Three larch trees, located in Warksburn Forest, were selected for the project by the Forestry Commission.

Totem poles in Stonehaugh have been a landmark since 1971, 20 years after the village was constructed to house Forestry Commission workers who created Kielder Forest.

The new totem poles will be the third of their kind after the last ones were replaced in late 2018 due to timber decay.

It is hoped the lifespan of the latest totem poles will be increased by inserting lengths of water main into the ground to act as collars and protect against rot.

Coun. Steve Batey, of Wark Parish Council, has headed the project to reinstate the iconic sculptures.

He said: “The felling process last week was really successful and we’re confident with how things are progressing.

“One of the trees was rotting so we had to fell a fourth one,but it will still be put to use as well as the other three.”

The three new totem poles will each be designed by Wark First School pupils, the Forestry Commission and the Egger woodchip factory in Hexham.

Coun. Batey added: “We have received the drawings back from the schoolchildren and have given them to the carver. We’re really impressed with the designs.

“The plans we are drawing up for the Forestry Commission and the Egger designs are also looking really good.” The finished totem poles will be on display at the Northumberland County Show on May 27 before they move to Stonehaugh.