A CELEBRATED sculptor returned to a little town park to see how some of his works were settling in nearly two decades after he created them.

Alec Peever, best known to many as the creator of the seven mile-long Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk in Kensington Gardens, revisited Wantage's Betjeman Millennium Park to check up on the sculptures he installed there in 2001.

The West Oxfordshire-based artist was commissioned then by park trustees to provide stones carved with poetry penned by the park's namesake – former poet laureate and Wantage resident John Betjeman, who lived in The Mead just a stone's throw from the green space off Locks Lane.

On Friday he was invited back to offer his advice on how the stones could be best maintained to be enjoyed by generations to come.

He said afterwards: "These are my babies, I have interest in their wellbeing and they clearly needed a bit of a spruce-up so I was glad to help."

Mr Peever advised the current trustees on cleaning the stones in a way that would not damage them and also cutting back vegetation to help them look their best.

But he added: "I am terrifically happy with how they have settled in: these things do have life; we push them out into the world then they adapt in their own way and it's thrilling to see they've taken on some of the characteristics of their environment."

Mr Peever was greeted by current chairman of trustees John Vandore, founder trustee Sheila Terry and current clerk Flora Nuttgens, and they took a tour of the green haven before having a convivial lunch in The Lamb pub next door.

Mr John Vandore, a cryogenics expert at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Harwell, said the visit was 'delightful'.

He went on: "The founders of the park did a really top-class job in finding highly regarded people recognised in their field to create it.

"The way they set the bar for going about thing in the park was fantastic and that is reelected by Alec Peever's work.

"As a bonus, he is such a nice bloke."

Looking to the future, the five trustees are now in something of a recruitment drive: as well as being on the look-out for general volunteers to help with gardening, they have just recruited a volunteer archivist, a social media guru and they are now looking for someone to manage their website.

The idea is to tell as many people as possible about the memorial space and the man it is named after.

Mr Vandore added: "We are just one generation taking care of the park for the next generation."

Find out more at betjemanpark.org.uk or contact Mr Vandore on john@vandore.com or 01235 760562.