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Villagers mourn loss of fallen oak in Blean

A 70ft oak tree has blown down in a gale - crashing across a public footpath at Blean.

The tree was a much-loved feature in the village but is now uprooted and blocking the well-used path between the Hare and Hounds pub and the church.

Its demise is being mourned by villagers, including artist and Bagpuss creator Peter Firmin, who created a lithograph of it to make a Christmas card.

He said: “It’s sad to see it down because it was a magnificent tree and I called it The Blean Oak.

"When I was footpath warden on Blean parish council, I had it covered by a tree preservation order but sadly that has not protected it from the wind.

“We think it came down last week during the gales. The ground in the field is very wet and that may have led to it becoming more unstable.

“I have reported it to the county council’s rights of way department because the footpath is blocked but it will not be easy to get at and remove.

“The trunk is nearly two metres in diameter and it will need some pretty heavy duty machinery but the access is limited and the ground very soft so they might have to wait until it dries up, which won’t be anytime soon.”

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