“YOU can drop a stick over the side, there just isn’t any water under it.”

For months, 69-year-old cycle track owner Mike “The Bike” Westphal has worked on restoring Poohsticks Bridge in his back garden.

The literary landmark in Ashdown Forest is rumoured to be where Winnie the Pooh author A A Milne invented the game of Poohsticks with son Christopher Robin.

First built in 1907, the bridge was eventually replaced with a “health and safety replica” in 1999.

The original attraction “wasted away” in an East Sussex County Council depot for almost 20 years.

But carpenter Mike and friend Richard Regan convinced council officers to let them restore the beloved children’s landmark.

“We saw the bridge all abandoned in a council lot, it just seemed wrong,” said Mike, who lives in Penshurst, Kent.

“This was the authentic bridge. Dick Regan had been talking to them for some time about getting it.

“It seemed ridiculous something world famous was just wasting away in a workshop.

“We managed to take it away because the locals in Hartfield didn’t like it, it brought so many tourists.”

Starting work in winter last year, the restoration was a painstaking process.

Mike said: “It took my team months to build.

“You have to get everything accurate and square or it’s not going to work.

“We checked it and worked out how much was missing.

“I’ve got plenty of oak here so we fixed it all up.

“We assembled it with our own team of carpenters.”

The project was a labour of love for Mike and his team.

But the 69-year-old hopes Disney will soon come knocking.

He said: “It’s not going to do much in my garden.

“We’d like to sell it to Disney but they’ve shown no interest.

“We’ll give them a few months. We spoke to an ex-marketing chief we knew but they haven’t come back.

“But if some businessman in Tokyo wants to put it in his department store, I won’t stand in the way.”

Mike, who owns Penshurst Bike Park, said all money from the sale would go towards looking after the trees on his land and Ashdown Forest.

“I’d like to see it somewhere where lots of people can enjoy it,” he said.

If you can help Mike with his search for a buyer, email porcmike@aol.com.