A bin in Ellenborough Park West has been destroyed by fire. It’s not clear how the fire was started, it could have been a disposable BBQ put into the bin without the person realising the BBQ was still hot. There is also scored grass damage which would indicate a BBQ had taken place in the park, which isn’t permitted. The most troubling to Weston Town Councils’ grounds team is the damage done to the beautiful icon tree the Monterey Cyprus in the centre of the park. The tree has been deliberately scorched and there are burns up one side, tree bark removed and coal put underneath in an attempt to set fire to the whole tree, which luckily didn’t take alight fully. 

Tree consultant Steve Clark said: The BBQ was close to the tree stem which will have damaged and killed the roots which can result in a future infection of the tree. However, the worst damage was to the stem where the live coals were put against to a catch the tree on fire, which burnt the heartwood. The fire has caused a large wound to the base of the stem and it also looks like someone was trying to cut the tree with a sharp implement as there and serval small wounds. The Monterey Cyprus is a much loved tree and many local people have expressed that this is their favourite tree, we hope the tree will make a full recovery.

Weston Town Council now plans to fence off this tree to help it recover and protect it from any more damage. New signs reminding people they can’t use a BBQ in this park will be made. It’s unfathomable that in this weather people would create damage in this way, if there was ever a time we understand how much we need trees is during hot weather when we are reminded about climate change.