Endcliffe Park tree Sheffield: Experts now know what caused huge tree to fall, narrowly missing mum and baby

A tree fell in a popular Sheffield park, narrowly missing a mum and her baby. Experts now know why it collapsed
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Experts at Sheffield Council believe they now know why an oak tree collapsed, reportedly narrowly missing a mum and her child on a bench on Sunday.

The tree is understood to have tumbled without warning at Sheffield’s popular Endcliffe Park, near the duck pond at the park, close to where Sheffield mum Francesca Dodd, aged 25, said she and her nine-month-old daughter, Lily Joy Wright, were sitting.

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Residents who saw the tree on Sunday afternoon raised concerns over its collapse, saying the park was busy, but there was no sign that anyone had been injured by what happened.

The fallen tree in Endcliffe Park. Picture: William BradshawThe fallen tree in Endcliffe Park. Picture: William Bradshaw
The fallen tree in Endcliffe Park. Picture: William Bradshaw

The Star approached Sheffield Council Parks and Countryside Service for details of what had happened - and now officials have revealed why they believe it fell.

But they have also warned that there had been no visible evidence of the problem before the tree fell.

They said in a statement: “Following an investigation this morning (April 15 2024) the cause has been identified as being a combination of root system decay and internal decay of the lower stem

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“As there was no external, visible evidence of this decay, it was not picked up at the last inspection of the tree, which took place in July 2023.”

The Council also said that the tree was cleared and the footpath reopened shortly after it had fallen. They added Sheffield City Council’s Parks and Countryside Team will clear all remaining debris in the coming days.

“If that bench had been a metre to the left I think we would both have been killed,” Francesca Dodd told The Star after tree had missed her and her child as they sat on a bench.

“I can only describe the noise as like there were a thousand ducks flapping their wings.

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The fallen tree comes after a period which has seen the UK drenched with heavy rainfall.

The Met Office has already stated that March was one of the wettest on record, with 27 per cent more rainfall in Britain than usual.

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