Mansfield resident claims tree fall at Berry Hill park is "significant danger" to people

A Mansfield resident is calling for a council ‘rapid response’ after a tree fall he claims poses a “significant danger” to visitors of a popular park

Thursday, 17th September 2020, 8:16 am

The large, mature beech tree, at Berry Hill Park collapsed sometime during the past month.

Martin Killick, who lives on Black Scotch Lane, contacted the CHAD and Mansfield Council chiefs.

He believes the collapse posed a “significant danger,” and has called for a “rapid response” by Mansfield Council to clear the tree’s 30ft carcass.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Tree fall Berry Hill Park - Picture Martin Killick

Mr Killick said: “The council’s attempt to use plastic tape round the area to keep people away is fruitless, it is just not secure.

"In light of the landslip in King’s Walk, I have submitted a correspondence to highlight to the chief executive and those beneath that this tree collapse is a significant danger.

"The the council hasn't acted quickly enough. They could have had someone there immediately to clear it away, but like everything nothing gets done, and just gets blamed on Covid 19.

"How long would it take them to get a van, two men, a chainsaw and a skip to clear this collapse and make safe the remaining tree carcass? I worry there is half a tree waiting to collapse on someone. I require a rapid response as this is a dangerous situation.”

Tree fall Berry Hill Park - Picture Martin Killick

Sarah Troman, Head of Mansfield Council’s Neighbourhood Services, said: “A large section of this mature beech tree was brought down during unseasonably strong winds last month.

“Council officers visited the fallen section on September 2, and assessed that it posed no immediate health and safety risk to the public. It will be cleared as soon as possible. The rest of the tree, which remains standing, has been assessed as low risk and will remain untouched.

“Mansfield District Council has a regular tree inspection programme to monitor the safety of thousands of trees on its land and highlight necessary works. Since becoming responsible for the upkeep of Berry Hill Park last year, it has spent more than £30,000 on tree works in the park, including some emergency works, to keep visitors safe.

“As with any mature tree, there is always some increased risk that the whole tree or sections of it will succumb to storms – and especially if they happen at times of the year when the tree is carrying leaves, as in this instance.

Tree fall Berry Hill Park - Picture Martin Killick

"It is not always possible to see all points of decay and therefore accurately predict which trees pose an imminent danger. This particular tree was checked last year (2019) and no issues could be seen at ground level.

“The mature trees in Berry Hill Park are a vital wildlife habitat, giving homes to many species, some of them endangered. The council’s inspection programme seeks to balance any risk a mature specimen could pose, against the likely impact on wildlife of removing a tree and the aesthetic loss of what could be a much loved feature in a public space.”

The council says it works with the Friends of Berry Hill Park to improve and maintain the park. Anyone interested in joining the group should see: https://friendsofberryhillpark.wordpress.com/ or email [email protected]