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Falling branches raise safety fears in Norwich street

Workmen making safe the copper beech tree that lost a huge branch, close to flats in Watson Grove, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Workmen making safe the copper beech tree that lost a huge branch, close to flats in Watson Grove, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Archant 2010

Fears that children could be struck by falling tree branches were raised again yesterday, just a day after the National Trust was cleared of any blame for a tragedy at a north Norfolk estate.

Branches weighing several tonnes fell from a copper beech tree near to flats in Watson Grove, off Armes Street.

No-one was injured, but neighbours raised concerns about what might have happened.

It comes the day after Mr Justice Mackay, at the High Court in London, rejected the claim that the Trust’s tree inspectors failed to exercise reasonable care after a tree branch fell at Felbrigg Hall, near Cromer, killing 11-year-old Daniel Mullinger and severely injuring three of his classmates in June 2007.

Branches from the tree in Watson Grove are believed to have fallen yesterday morning.

Edwin Staniland, from Adelaide Street, was walking his dog there yesterday morning.

He said: “I spoke to one of the people living there and she said it was a loud whooshing noise when the branches fell.

“I’m sure that children play under that tree, so it’s not worth thinking about what could have happened. Each of the branches must weigh a tonne.”

People living in Watson Grove said they were not surprised that the branches had fallen. One woman, who did not wish to be named, said: “It’s quite an old tree, so I’m surprised it’s lasted this long.”

Contractors were on site yesterday making the tree secure. One of the workers said it was unclear why the branches had fallen.

A spokesman for Norwich City Council confirmed that it was responsible for the upkeep of the tree.

Do you think more could be done to make trees secure? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE, or email eveningnewsletters
@archant.co.uk

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