THE artist behind Somerset's iconic Willow Man man says it could have to be taken down due to cost of repairs.

Serena De La Hey is currently working on the 40ft sculpture based on land near the M5 at Bridgwater has been welcoming visitors to Somerset for 18 years now, despite initially being created as a temporary installation.

Ms De La Hey has been working on the maintaining the sculpture over the past two days so it is ready for the winter months, but said she will have a tough decision to make next year unless further funding can be found.

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REPAIR WORK: Picture by Terence Peppin

"It is not always easy to find funding to carry out the repair works. It has been up for 18 years now and I think there needs to be a discussion about the future of it," she said.

"I am currently ascertaining how strong the feeling is in favour of keeping it, and will look into setting up a crowdfunding page but at the moment I do not how much money is required or many of the details."

Ms De La Hey said she had thoroughly enjoyed working on the Willow Man once again over the past four days.

"I am pleased that I have managed to do what I wanted over the last few days, which was to restore stability to the body and the head," she added.

"You always feel there is more to do but it is great working on a piece that is always evolving and always changing."

"It is quite exciting to be working on an art piece 40 feet above the ground."

The Willow Man is made of woven withies over a three tonne steel frame.

It is protected by a 40-metre moat which was installed after vandals torched it in 2001.

The iconic Somerset landmark was ranked among Britain's favourite roadside landmarks last year in a poll conducted by National Express.

One Bridgwater resident, Terence Peppin, who has taken these fantastic shots of the work in progress, says it would be a great shame if the Willow Man had to be taken down.

Mr Peppin said: "I would gutted, and I am pretty sure those who criticise it would be disappointed if it were ever to be taken down.

"Some people just do not appreciate things until they are gone."