Mystery fire destroys park hedge

NO ACTION is to be taken after a yew hedge in an Ipswich park was destroyed by fire.The fire, which is not being treated as suspicious by firefighters, broke out near to the tennis courts in Christchurch Park at about 1.

NO ACTION is to be taken after a yew hedge in an Ipswich park was destroyed by fire.

The fire, which is not being treated as suspicious by firefighters, broke out near to the tennis courts in Christchurch Park at about 1.10pm on Saturday.

A council spokeswoman said: "We are not sure how the fire started. However, we will be putting up a fence around the damaged area and will be looking into long term options for restoration."

The charred remains of the 50-year-old yew hedge which forms part of the beautiful gardens of the park is all that is left.


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Police said a member of the public called them about the fire to inform them that he saw two youths running away from the scene.

However he could not confirm they started the blaze and therefore the fire is not being treated as suspicious.

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Ken Lightfoot is on the committee of The Friends of Christchurch Park, an organisation set up to help look after the park for the public good.

Mr Lightfoot also drives the Friends' Parkmobile a small electric bus, which runs tours to see its ancient trees, ponds, wildlife, and flower gardens.

Three days after the loss of the yew hedge, Mr Lightfoot said he took a party of elderly visitors on a tour and they all felt sad at the sight.

"It was around 25 yards of hedge lost and whether it was a deliberate act, and the authorities believe it was not, or accidental it is still very sad to lose part of the park's old attractions.

"The hedge concealed a brick building used for storage and that is exposed now.

"Some people think it could have been started by a glass bottle which caught alight in the sun but no one really knows the cause, it is upsetting though," he added.

n For further information on the Friends of Christchurch Park either telephone membership secretary Robert Fairchild on 01473 254255 or e-mail: robert.fairchild@ntlworld.com

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