Mystery over why 80-foot tree fell in The Byes, Sidmouth

Anne Bishop took this shot of firefighters making sure the scene was safe in the Byes yesterday afte

Anne Bishop took this shot of firefighters making sure the scene was safe in the Byes yesterday afternoon. - Credit: Archant

East Devon District Council officers working hard to clear site

Officers investigating how an 80-foot tree toppled in The Byes say there was nothing to indicate it would fall.

Fire crews were called to the popular walking spot at 3.50pm last Thursday amid reports people could have been struck and trapped. Sidmouth Fire Station commander Steve Crabb said a thermal imaging camera was used to check no-one was underneath the tree and crews made the scene safe.

A district council spokesman said: “Our StreetScene team has been on site for the past two days attending to the fallen pine tree. There was nothing to indicate the tree might fail before it did so.

“We’ve inspected the tree and determined there was little in the way of significant structural roots on the northern side of the tree, other than a few that were partially rotten.


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“This, combined with a crown that was significantly heavier on one side, is likely to have led to failure.

“Our officers are working hard to clear the tree from the site, so that only the trunk will remain during the Christmas period. In the new year, we will be removing the old bench and seating made from the previous tree trunk and will begin carving some new benches.”

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