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Fallen tree set to become a wildlife feature in park

Published: 18 January 2024

The fallen horse chestnut tree in Heavitree Pleasure Ground

Part of a large horse chestnut tree brought down by the recent storms in Exeter is set to become a wildlife feature, Exeter City Council has announced.

The impressive 100-year-old Baumann’s horse chestnut tree came down in Heavitree Pleasure Ground during Storm Henk on Tuesday 2 January.

At the time, gusts of over 80mph were recorded at nearby Exeter airport, bringing damage to trees and property across the city.

The Heavitree horse chestnut fell across the nearby Whipton Lane but fortunately no-one was hurt.

The bulk of the timber will be removed, woodchipped and deposited at the base of the stem, which will remain, propped up by three large log lengths, as a wildlife habitat feature/leaning monolith.

The tree was part of line of three horse chestnuts which the City Council will be reducing in height of due to the increased wind leverage on the two remaining trees and the likely compromised root area.

Cllr Ruth Williams, Lead Councillor for Place and City Management said the City Council was committed to planting trees and maintaining green spaces across the city.

“This horse chestnut was a much-loved tree, so it is lovely to commemorate it through the creation of a wildlife habitat made from the wood. 

“We intend to replant in this location during the 2024/25 planting season and will be giving careful consideration to the type of tree that we put in.”

During November and December the City Council planted some 60 trees across Exeter. A further 40 whips are to be planted in hedges, as well as some fruit trees later in the season.

Since the year 2000, the City Council has planted some 17,000 trees throughout Exeter.

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