Operation to remove fallen tree begins

WORK to remove the giant beech tree that came down on Ipswich cemetery's war graves was due to get underway today.The 80-foot tree came down in the weekend storms, although cemetery staff believe that miraculously the graves themselves were undamaged.

WORK to remove the giant beech tree that came down on Ipswich cemetery's war graves was due to get underway today.

The 80-foot tree came down in the weekend storms, although cemetery staff believe that miraculously the graves themselves were undamaged.

Experts were called to the cemetery yesterday afternoon to work out how to deal with the tree.

It came down on top of the Second World War graves in the cemetery - and narrowly missed the memorial at the centre of that part of the graveyard.

Staff do not believe that any of the headstones were damaged when it came down - but it will have to be carefully cut up to ensure that there is no subsequent damage.

No one saw the tree come down, cemetery staff found it when they returned to work yesterday morning after the weekend.

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Cemetery manager Mike Grimwood said: "We're hoping that work may start later today - or it might be tomorrow.

"It will be quite a long job because it's all got to be done by hand. You can't get a crane in there.

"First they'll have to remove the branches by hand - which will be quite a job in itself - and then cut the trunk up on the site."

He could not believe the lucky escape that the the headstones had.

"We think there are two which have been pushed forward slightly, which would suggest that the concrete bases have cracked.

"But it's a reasonably straightforward thing to repair them.

"What is really amazing is the way the memorial escaped - the tree fell with branches either side of it but did not actually touch the memorial itself.

"That really is a bit of a miracle," Mr Grimwood said.

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