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Skatepark group speaks out after accusations following tree fall in car park

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Skatepark group speaks out after accusations following tree falls in car park

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The Kingsbridge Skatepark group has spoken out after unfounded accusations online followed a tree falling into Quay Car Park on Friday night.  

A spokesperson for Kingsbridge Skatepark posted on their social media after a couple of people speculated about the tree that fell on Quay Car Park on Friday night or early Saturday morning. 

A couple of social media comments were suspicious about the fact that it was so close to the proposed skate park site, but the Kingsbridge Skatepark group say the tree that fell was never one that needed removing for the project to be successful.

credit Dan Stathers 

In a statement released yesterday, Kingsbridge Skate Park said they were responding to a "serious allegation" against them that made them think it was "necessary to defend" themselves. 

A spokesperson said: "Some of you may know about the tree that fell in the early hours of the morning near to the skatepark. It has been alleged that we, at some point in the past, deliberately poisoned this tree to help facilitate the skatepark build.

"The truth of the matter is that this particular tree suffered from water ingress, as can be seen by the brown vertical mark in the first picture. It's likely it made its way in through an old limb scar that has likely been nested in, causing a pool to form within.

"The dry weather has then caused a cavity within thus [weakening] the structure of the trunk. This is a professional opinion by the team working on the tree, not ours. There are no signs of tree poisoning.

"In our recent consultation we proposed removing some of the poplar trees to the left of the park as you look at the bank. An independent tree assessment was conducted noting one of them was in very poor health and required felling.

"Consequently other unhealthy poplars in close proximity needed to be removed as their structural integrity would be compromised by this action.

"No oaks where ever proposed, thus protecting the old rookery nests.

"Poplars are not a suitable species for the bank - they have outgrown their position and overhang the skatepark causing a health and safety issue. This work would have needed to be done regardless of the expansion. Our planting scheme replaces those earmarked for felling with a more suitable species resulting in a net gain of three trees.

"Todays incident shows that these trees need managing, not only for public safety but also to help other trees flourish. Its likely the oak next to the fallen tree will need to be removed because of the loss today.

"It saddens me that some have used todays incident to try and derail what will be huge community asset and discredit the team who have worked tirelessly to bring it to Kingsbridge. Before the weekend we secured the final £100k required to build the park, pending a final offer letter we expect to receive this week.

"The project is going amazingly well and we are determined to see it through for our community."

We are awaiting confirmation of all the information from South Hams District Council, which we expect tomorrow (Monday) and we will update this story as soon as we can. 

Find out more about the Kingsbridge Skatepark project HERE


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