TO put together his latest creation, sculptor Steve Blaylock first had to make an unusual request.

The Harrogate-based artist had to approach a garden tools manufacturer and ask: "Can you make me a 10ft garden spade?"

After some initial disbelief, the Joseph Bentley company in Hull agreed to his request, making a stainless steel spade with a handle made of renewable ash.

And Steve then turned it into art - by topping the entire thing with a stainless steel Christmas robin boasting a 3ft wingspan.

And the eye-catching piece has now been given pride of place among other sculptures at the Harlow Carr gardens in Harrogate.

"I previously did a life-size barn owl on top of a garden fork and people had asked me to do the same with a robin," said Steve yesterday.

"But the way I work meant there was no way it could be life-size so I had to ask for the special ten foot spade.

"I think they thought I was off my trolley at first."