Sycamore in Rodwell Cutting broken off overnight 9-10 November 2018

Saturday 10 November: Fallen tree across the trail

One of the multi-trunks of a coppiced sycamore growing towards the top of the cutting blocked the trail at the dripping well on 10 November. The trunk broke off in a southerly gale about 2m above ground level and all but blocked the trail. This tree was not growing on soft or unstable ground, and other trunks growing from the same stool remained in place.

Pedestrians generally managed to duck under the branches but it was very difficult for cyclists to squeeze through and impossible for those using mobility scooters. Sharp, jagged stumps were an additional hazard, especially during the frequent blustery cold showers. A member of the Friends of Rodwell Trail and another local resident used bow saws to clear the trail as an emergency measure.

The council had been alerted and, although it was a Saturday, the Highways Department team arrived at about 1pm and took over the task of removing the obstruction. They had been busy earlier that day clearing trees blocking roads as far away as Swanage. The fallen tree was reduced to manageable lengths and timber and branches were left in a safe condition. Council workers removed all of the fallen material by 19 November, so thank you to all involved for dealing with this incident in a rapid and efficient manner.

For future reference, to report fallen trees along the trail during normal office hours ring Roads and Highways (01305 221000); outside these times ring the Out of Hours emergency call centre (01305 221020). Alternatively, go online to the Dorset For You website, click roads and transport, then click report a hedge, tree or verge issue.

The Highways Department cavalry arrive

Monday 19 November: council workers have removed all of the fallen timber and branches

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