200 year old London Colney tree is felled
- Credit: Photo supplied
For two centuries it has withstood the demands of changing seasons in London Colney and provided a green canopy for visitors paying their respects to loved ones buried nearby.
But the strong winds of last October have dealt a fatal blow to the majestic ash tree which has graced St Peter’s churchyard, on the banks of the River Colne, for so long.
By Friday last week, the remainder of the damaged 200-year-old tree was finally removed, prompting the church to launch a fundraising bid to recoup the thousands of pounds it cost to clear it.
The Rev Lynne Fawns said the ash tree, about two storeys high, had been sheared vertically, with part of it falling to the ground, during last year’s storms.
She added: “Luckily it missed all the graves, as we have war graves here too.
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“But we had to close the yard until it was made safe again, and it was reopened before Christmas.”
It has taken several months for the tree to be cleared away as the church had to obtain various permissions, quotes and arborist reports.
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Rev Fawns said it cost £3,600 to remove the tree, with some quotes for thousands of pounds more.
She said: “It cost so much because it was a high tree, and it is dangerous work. The tree was next to an industrial estate and access was difficult.
“I’m very relieved now that it has been removed.
“But we are going to struggle to pay for it. We are on a fundraising mission.”
Rev Fawns has thanked people who have already contributed to the cost of the tree’s removal, including Herts county councillor for The Colneys Dreda Gordon.
Cllr Gordon said: “I was more than happy to help out with money from the council’s locality budget scheme, as it is there to help local needs.”
She added: “It was a lovely tree, and the churchyard is a place of peace and reflection within the village.”