Saturday, 28 November 2020

Rotten tree blown over into gardens, blocking path

A ROTTEN tree was blown down and blocked a footpath.

A ROTTEN tree was blown down and blocked a footpath.

Strong winds felled the 100ft ash which crashed on to two gardens and narrowly missed the rear of a house in Valley Road, Henley, on May 24.

Children regularly use the path as a short cut to Gillotts School and The Henley College.

Elisabeth Ralph, who lives in Valley Road, said the tree caused considerable damage.

She said: “It fell across our garden and that of our neighbour, where the top of the tree reached the patio window. Two of our fences have been destroyed and will need to be replaced.

“If the tree had fallen directly towards our house, it would have made contact and could have been a danger.” Henley Town Council, which owns the land where the ash stood, employed contractors to chop up the tree in order to remove it.

Paul Bradbury, who lives in Valley Road, said he had been complaining to the council about the threat of the tree and others nearby falling since 2008 and an expert from Oxfordshire County Council inspected the ash in April.

“The tree was clearly rotten and there are others that are very, very tall,” he said. “I am not saying fell them, I love trees, but they should not be left unattended.”

Town clerk Mike Kennedy said the council had a programme of tree inspections and action was taken when necessary, such as reducing the height and, in extreme cases, felling.

He added: “If it is shown that we acted negligently then there will be a case to answer but I can’t be sure this is the case.”

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