Buxton couple have lucky escape as huge fallen tree branch crushes bench in Corbar Woods

A Buxton couple had a lucky escape last week after they narrowly avoided being hit by a huge fallen tree branch.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 3:25 pm

The pair, who have not been publicly identified, were sat on a bench at the edge of Corbar Woods just after lunch on Saturday, June 12, when they were startled by the sound of the bough beginning to snap off an elderly oak tree.

A spokesman for Buxton Civic Association (BCA), which manages the woodland, said: “It fell quite unexpectedly without any warning, during calm conditions. The couple sitting on the bench at the time were luckily able to jump out of the way at the first warning sound and were not hurt. However it must have been a very scary experience for them.”

The bench was broken by the weight of the bough, which left the path blocked and the tree in a rather precarious state.

The weight of the branch was enough to break the bench where people were sat moments before.

The spokesman said: “BCA staff and a local tree surgeon were able to go and clear the path on Monday morning and close the path for safety reasons. Since then we have been urgently assessing the safety of what remains of the tree. We ask everyone to please respect this path closure for your own safety.”

BCA regularly pays for regular professional detailed health and safety check of trees adjacent to paths, boundaries and roads in all of its woodlands, in line with the requirements for its liability insurance.

The major survey flags up any trees that need attention and staff then carry out routine checks in between surveys. Although this oak tree grows over the path, it had not shown any issues of concern before this incident.

THE BCA representative said: “The case illustrates that sometimes nature is unpredictable. Having inspected the broken limb, it appears there was no significant rot in the junction with the trunk and as I understand it there was not any high wind blowing at the time. It is therefore unclear why it shed this limb at this particular time.

The huge bough completely blocked the path where it fell.

“We would like to be able to preserve as much of the tree as possible and are investigating the possibility of pollarding it just above the break, in the hope that it will be able to sustain some growth in the future.”

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The tree was thought to be in good health, with no obvious reason for the branch falling.
The oak tree has stood in Corbar Woods for decades.