ACCLAIMED sculptor Kenny Hunter will breathe life into a new community hospital garden with work which recognises East Lothian’s heritage.

Kenny, who grew up in Musselburgh, is creating a collection of animal sculptures which will make their home in the gardens of the £70million East Lothian Community Hospital.

And he is drawing on inspiration from his memories of growing up in the county, with a pit pony, a greyhound and a colony of rabbits all set to move into the grounds.

Kenny, who works out of Powderhall Bronze in Leith, said he looked at ways of acknowledging the important role animals played in East Lothian, as well as creating something to liven up the gardens.

He said: “I wanted to look at our social history and our relationship with animals.

“The pony not only represents the miners who used them in the past but they are still in East Lothian today helping with land management at Traprain Law.

“There was a dog track in Wallyford and, of course, there was hare coursing in our past.”

The gardens are one of the final parts of the new hospital to be completed, with construction of the building itself due to be complete this month, with staff moving in during September.

And Kenny’s sculptures, which will be made of bronze, are due to be unveiled in the gardens at the beginning of next year.

With the pony and greyhound raised on plinths, Kenny aims to create sculptures which will be at eye level with people using the garden.

He is also planning a family of rabbits who will come out of their warren to watch the world go by.

He said: “Animals are non judgemental and that makes them perfect for this project.

“I want them to be eye level so people are not looking down on them.

“The gardens are for the community as a whole and I hope they will enjoy them.”

Kenny’s work is already known to residents and visitors in East Lothian. He created The Watcher, which stands at the Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick.

Other public art by Kenny includes the Citizen Firefighter which stands outside Central Station in Glasgow and his work has been exhibited around the world.