Dick Turpin is about to ride again on the Great North Road.

The Essex-born cattle-lifter, house-breaker and highwayman has been carved into 14 tonnes of London Plane by art and design students at Barnet College.

Although Dick's historical connection with Finchley is at best unproven, his image will stand close to a notorious haunt of highwaymen at Glebelands open space.

It has been carved in relief on the distinctively-shaped Beehive tree, which was rescued and preserved following the widening of the North Circular Road in East Finchley in 1993.

"This is a truly magnificent tree," said the college's public arts tutor Andrew Crummy.

"The image created will, we hope, capture people's imagination. We are very pleased at the way the sculpture is evolving and are delighted that the Beehive tree will soon be restored to its local area."

But Dick will have the element of surprise when he is once again unleashed on the public. Barnet Council is expected to unveil the sculpture soon, but has not yet set a date.

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