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Bosses at Bury St Edmunds Active Business Centre 'devastated' after massive historic tree collapses




Bosses at a business centre in Bury St Edmunds were left 'devastated' after a massive historic tree collapsed over the weekend.

Karyn Scott, managing director of the Active Business Centre at St Andrew's Castle, was notified on Sunday that the 'iconic' cedar tree, which has stood infront of the building for more than 125 years, had crashed to the ground.

She said: "Had it gone the other way we would have been talking fatalities I would have thought. It would have crushed someone's house."

Karyn Scott, managing director with her husband Kevin, with the fallen tree. Picture: Mark Westley
Karyn Scott, managing director with her husband Kevin, with the fallen tree. Picture: Mark Westley

The branches of the fallen tree engulfed the site's car park and they have had to remove some to help clear the area.

Tracie Crascall, office manager, said: "We're so lucky it fell that way rather than towards the castle.

"We're absolutely devastated to lose it. We had a surveyor out only a short time ago and he said 'that will be up for another 200 years' and all of sudden it just fell down.

The fallen cedar tree at the Active Business Centre. Picture: Active Business Centre
The fallen cedar tree at the Active Business Centre. Picture: Active Business Centre

"I don't know what made it fall. It's a very sad occasion for us. It's so iconic because it's such a massive tree."

Mrs Scott said she was notified by a client about the tree on Sunday and checked her CCTV.

"It happened at about 8am," she said. "It seemed to go down in slow motion.

"It wasn't even gale force winds or anything. My main concern is no-one was hurt.

The cedar tree at the Active Business Centre before it collapsed. Picture: Active Business Centre
The cedar tree at the Active Business Centre before it collapsed. Picture: Active Business Centre

"It's a big shame because it was very iconic to the castle. The two of them went hand in hand. The castle was built in 1823 and the tree is over 125-years-old."

In August, the centre, in St Andrew’s Street South, launched St Andrew's Castle Civil Ceremonies and couples took their wedding photographs underneath the tree.

"It was perfect for photographs," Miss Crascall said.

"We're going to have to put our minds to think what we can do to make it just as romantic."

They have notified West Suffolk Council as the tree has a preservation order.

Miss Crascall added: "It will forever change the landscape. As you drove up our drive you were greeted by the beautiful castle and magnificent cedar tree."

Mrs Scott said it worried her that there were such tall trees in a residential area.

"I know everyone wants to save the trees but they've got to be safe," she said.

A council spokesman said: "Trees have a vital role to play in urban areas and many prominent and mature trees are protected by tree preservation orders (TPO).

"Looking after them is the responsibility of the owner, who should contact reputable arborists or arboricultural consultants if they have any concerns about their ongoing maintenance.

"The council deals with applications to maintain trees that are the subject of a TPO."

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