Swindon Local, Business News and What on Wiltshire

Felled ancient oak stump to become play space in Moredon

2nd June 2011 by Roger Ogle

rachel quinnRachel Quinn, right, had a nasty surprise on 1 June when she came out of her house in Moredon to find a large branch from a tree had come down on top of the bonnet of her Ford Puma.

Richard Wintle captured her with her car and council workers sorting out the mess caused when the huge holm oak at the junction of Jubilee Road and Purton Road split at its base.

The tree is thought to be hundreds of years old and possibly planted when the old manor house nearby was occupied by the local squire. As so often with mature trees, the centre of the trunk had hollowed out and will have been weakened by the recent high winds.

A council spokesman said the tree was one which they would have like to preserve but the council's tree surgeon had decided it was now top heavy, unbalanced and unsafe and instructed the tree gang from Swindon Commercial Services to cut the remains down and remove the debris.

However following discussions with people living in the vicinity of the tree council and green spaces officer Caroline Hunt said,  "This was a much loved tree by members of the community, and a piece of local history.

"After discussing this with the Lead Member for StreetSmart and Parks councillor Nick Martin, we have decided to leave the remains of the tree on site as a feature and natural play activity for children and young people. We will monitor the condition of the timber to ensure it doesn't present a hazard to users."

swindon tree gangImages: Richard Wintle, Calyx, 41 Churchward Avenue Swindon SN2 1NJ +44 (0) 1793 520131

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