LEDBURY'S latest public art work is now in place after months of waiting, greeting visitors to the town.

The sculpture, entitled The Swallows Return, was installed on Thursday at the roundabout where the bypass meets the Gloucester Road.

It is the work of Herefordshire-based artist Walenty Pytel, who was present as the sculpture was installed by a crew of workmen from Leominster Crane Hire.

Also there was town mayor Debbie Baker, plus representatives from the Ledbury-based Helping Hands Company, which sponsors the planting on the roundabout.

The sculpture itself is a goodwill gift to the town by Mr Pytel, who is the creator of many other metal artworks, including the Silver Jubilee fountain outside the Houses of Parliament in London, and, closer to home, the buzzards in Great Malvern's Rose Bank Gardens.

It was initially hoped to install the sculpture in the spring, but it was delayed after Herefordshire Council requested that an extra structural survey of the roundabout should be carried out.

Gavin James, managing director of Helping Hand, said that the company paid for both the initial survey and the second one requested by the council.

He said: "We're delighted that it's finally in place after we got all the approvals that the county council asked for. It looks really great and I'm sure that everyone will like it.

"It's been a great pleasure to help fund the installation of the swallows, and add something to the town where we've been based for so long."

He said that next month, work will begin on a new planting scheme on the roundabout to complement the sculpture.