Mystery of missing Rock Park tree

Joseph Bulmer

Council stumps up the cash after investigation fails to shed light on fate of sweet chestnut.

BARNSTAPLE Town Council has investigated the mysterious disappearance of a memorial tree from Rock Park.

The tree apparently vanished in recent months and the family who planted it in memory of a loved one have asked the council to replace it.

Investigations by the town council and North Devon Council failed to shed any light on the fate of the sweet chestnut and the town council has now agreed to stump up the cash to replace it.

Town council trust and grants officer, Natasha Lewis, told the Rock Park Trust Committee: “Despite investigations we have been unable to establish when or how the tree was removed.

“The member of public would like the tree reinstated by the Rock Park Trust.”

Members approved �50 funding to replace the tree.

At the same meeting, the committee considered a draft memorial policy for trees and benches in the park.

The new policy is being drawn up to prevent potential injury to people from falling trees, stone memorials or broken benches.

Members debated whether the ownership of memorials should rest with the either the member of public who requested the memorial, or the Trust.

The committee asked the trust officer to examine baseline requirements including the quality of stone, bench or sapling.

Councillor John Matthews said: “We need a belt and braces job. We will be the ones who are liable if someone is injured.”