Monday, 21 June 2021

Dangerous willow tree faces axe

A WILLOW tree in Benson has been fenced off as it is unsafe for children to climb on before being felled.

Following a complaint from a resident who lives near the tree in Bertie West Field, off Horseshoes Lane, the parish council sought advice from a tree surgeon who said the tree was unsafe and should be cut down.

Edel McGurk, of Benson Nature Group, which looks after the land, said: “The tree is one of the many features of the field, which is a natural play area and much loved by residents.

“However, it has reached the end of its life and is unsafe for children to play on it so the parish council had no choice.”

Councillor Tom Stevenson said: “We had an inspection and the tree expert agreed with the resident that the tree is unsafe.

“It will be cut down as soon as it is possible after the bird-nesting season and then cut into large blocks so children will be able to play on it again.”

In a statement, the council said: “As we are now in bird nesting season, work to make it safe cannot be started until September, so it is necessary to erect a temporary exclusion fence and place safety notices around the tree.  

“When work can be done, the cut material will be left on the ground for children’s play and as these rot down they will provide great habitat for insects. The base of the tree will be left in situ and will regenerate, giving the tree a second life.”

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