A TEMPORARY bridge made of 22,000 sheets of paper in a Lake District valley has captured the attention of the nation.

The spectacular Grisedale Valley, near Patterdale, is playing host to artist Steve Messam's contemporary creation PaperBridge which will straddle two sides of a river for 10 days.

Weighing in at almost 4.5 tonnes, it took a team of five just one-and-a-half days to construct the paper creation made from only 100 per cent recycled red paper from Burneside's James Cropper Plc.

Mr Messam, of Upper Teasdale, told the Gazette: "We were rained off on two days and had four days to get it up, but we just worked very long hours.

"On the whole it went to plan and I was absolutely over the moon."

The artist used a wooden centring designed by Peter Foskett, of Kirkby Stephen, to help build the bridge by stacking sheets of five different sizes over the structure before lifting it apart.

"After working on something for so long it was a relief, and I was chuffed," he added. "There were big crowds there cheering. It was quite a moment."

And despite the rain that has naturally fallen since being put up, Mr Messam said he was not worried as the water would help the paper swell and bind together.

With no railings, he is not encouraging people to climb over it but if they feel 'comfortable' to brave it that is their choice.

"The bridge can definitely cope with people but it's whether they can cope with the bridge!"

During the weekend, the artist said there was around 100 people stopping every hour to admire his work which will stay in the valley until May 18.

It has attracted national and international publicity.

"People love it and are coming from all over the world, it's a marvel," he added. "You can see it from a mile away and people walking the coast to coast will be able to see it from the top of the valley."

Once the environmentally friendly installation's 10 days are up, the team will dismantle it by reversing the process used to construct it.

The paper will go back to James Cropper to be fully recycled.