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Yew Tree caravan park in Stone Street in Petham denies name change is linked to Jimmy Savile enquiry

By Alex Claridge

Yew Tree Park in Petham has changed its name – but denies the switch was made because of the notorious paedophile probe sharing the same title.

The caravan park, in Stone Street, is now calling itself Canterbury Fields and the owners insist they wanted a name which better reflected its geographical location.

Operation Yewtree is the Met Police’s investigation into historic allegations of child sex abuse which was sparked after the death of entertainer Jimmy Savile.

Sex abuse victims came forward after paedophile Jimmy Savile was shamed in Operation Yewtree. Picture: BBC

But Darwin Property Investment, which bought the 3.5-acre site earlier this year, ruled out any connection between the name change and the police inquiry.

“We have actually renamed quite a few of our parks to something that best suits their style and location..." - Darwin Property Investoment marketing manager Sarah Parks

Marketing manager Sarah Parks said: “The term Yew Tree certainly does now seem to have some negative connotations, but it is highly likely that had the park been called something else when we bought it, that it would still have been renamed.

“We have actually renamed quite a few of our parks to something that best suits their style and location.

“We needed to develop branding for Yew Tree which fitted with the rest of our holiday park branding and felt that Canterbury Fields would work much better as a name from a marketing perspective, as it easily identifies the area in which it is located.”

Operation Yewtree was launched in October 2012 after Savile, who died aged 84 in 2011, was exposed as a predatory paedophile who abused hundreds of victims.

It has three strands – one looking at Savile, another focusing on “Savile and others” and a third concentrating on those not linked to the former BBC DJ and TV presenter.

Canterbury Fields - formerly the Yew Tree Park - at Petham

Those arrested as part of the operation include Max Clifford and Rolf Harris, who are both now serving long prison sentences.

Comedians Freddie Starr, Jimmy Tarbuck and Jim
Davidson were all arrested and released without charge, while former pop star Gary Glitter is awaiting trial for eight child sex offences dating back to the 1970s.

Other places named Yew Tree in Kent include Ye Olde Yew Tree Inn at Westbere, Yew Tree Cottage in Nonington and the Yew Tree Lodge care home at Hoo near Rochester.

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