DAWLISH has a new throne and this one’s not reserved for Royalty – everyone is welcome to have a sit-down.

The grand wooden seat is coming to be known as the Swan Throne and stands on The Lawn in Dawlish.

The 1.5m sculpture is the remains of a huge chestnut tree that had to be felled when it became diseased.

Dawlish Town Council wanted to preserve what was left in some way and so asked residents for their suggestions.

The throne proved to be the most popular idea.

Renowned tree sculptor Andrew Frost from treeart.co.uk was contracted to carry out the work and his design includes some of the waterfowl which have come to symbolise the resort.

The extent of the rot became evident as Andrew, from Derbyshire, carved away sections. A huge part of the trunk was discovered to have rotted away at its centre.

However, bit of creative woodworking allowed the void to be covered with a piece of sequioa, which was carved into a plush red cushion.

Other sections of the tree stump were donated to the Strand Community Centre, where members of the Men’s Shed will no doubt be busy making their own creations.

The cost of the project was £3,000. Two thirds came from the town council funds and the remaining £1,000 came from Devon County Councillor Martin Wrigley’s Locality Fund. Cllr Wrigley was one of those who attended the official unveiling on Tuesday, along with town councillor Val Mawhood and mayor Cllr Lisa Mayne – who was the first person to grace the new feature.

She said: ‘This is a magnificent work of art and no doubt people will grow to love it.’

Cllr Wrigley was the second to test the street furniture, and he was swiftly followed by people of all ages and sizes.

Angie Weatherhead, the town council events, projects and tourism officer, said: ‘We have already received many positive comments about the throne. I believe people will come to love this as a public work of art for many years to come.’