Falling trees

Remains of the fallen tree. © komadoriCentral Swindon’s clown councillor, Mr Montaut, has been quick to political point scoring after a tree fell during the Armed Forces Family Fun Day in Faringdon Road Park.

Coun Montaut questioned whether Swindon Council was carrying out sufficient checks on the trees after recent cuts to its ground maintenance budget. He said: “What we cannot have is this type of thing happening in a public arena especially at a time when hundreds of people attend events like this. We need to make sure people can enjoy themselves in a safe environment.”

In fact the tree surgeons from Swindon Commercial Services spent much of last week in the park, but working on the trees on the opposite side of the park from the one that fell this weekend. As the tree surgeon who was called to the scene said, trees are unpredictable.

It can still happen — the tree is in full leaf so you wouldn’t expect anything to happen. If there’s decaying trees in the area we take them down straight away, we don’t take any chances, but trees are unpredictable.

From what’s left of it, the tree was clearly rotten at the core of its trunk. But so are many trees for many years. If Mr Montaut had his way, many substantially healthy trees would be felled, just in case an accident happened. Unnecessary felling of trees is a longstanding habit of councillors throughout the country. There’s already been enough instances in Swindon without Mr Montaut encouraging more.