A wildlife charity has been told it must seek planning permission for a mysterious totem pole that appeared seemingly overnight.
The 8-foot-tall sculpture emerged from a section of the North Downs Way National Trail, which runs through the Capel-Le-Ferne Nature Reserve.
The white chalk cliffs area is owned by the Kent Wildlife Trust, but the local authority has asked the conservation charity to seek retrospective planning permission to keep the totem pole.
The trust is now asking for the public’s help in identifying the artist of the carving, so that it can submit a planning application.
‘I have no idea’ where it came from
Adding to the growing level of intrigue surrounding its origins, the pole is inscribed with the name Perkûnas, a Baltic deity.
In Lithuanian and Latvian mythology, Perkûnas is documented as the god of the sky, thunder, lightning, storms, rain, fire, war, law, order, fertility, mountains, and oaks.
Ian Rickards, Kent Wildlife Trust area manager, said: “The artist behind this would have spent hours painstakingly sculpting the details and we can’t wait to keep it on our reserve.
“The artwork seems to be a hit with walkers taking selfies and complimenting us on the installation, but we had no idea how it got there, it’s a ‘totem pole’ mystery!
“The council has given us eight weeks to submit the planning permission and it would be great to track down the person behind Perkûnas to get a little more detail so we can keep it.”
The trust has also requested donations to help fund the planning application.
Mr Rickards added: “The planning application will come at a cost to the trust, so if anyone would like to make a donation to help fund the process it would be gratefully received.”