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Things to do in the Cotswolds this autumn in Gloucestershire

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Fallen Tree Closes Gruffalo Trail at Dean Heritage Centre

Dean Heritage Centre news

A large Oak tree has been brought down by high winds at the Dean Heritage Centre, just missing one of the carvings from the popular Gruffalo’s Child woodland trail.  

Following days of heavy rain and flooding which have closed parts of the heritage site, Centre maintenance staff have been working hard to keep the trail open, only to be stopped in their tracks by a large force of nature.
The oak tree is currently blocking entry to the Centre’s woodland area, Gruffalo trail and adventure playground and spans the entire trail, brook and edge of the mill pond.
Moving the tree in order the open the trail will be a slow process due to its size, weight and the difficulty of its current location but Centre staff are confident they can get the job done thanks to the expertise of their grounds maintenance team and professional chainsaw carvers.
Clayton Ryder, site maintenance officer said: “It’s a big job. The constant rainfall has washed away the ground surrounding the tree and rotted its central root system causing it to fall during the night. The removal will need to be done in stages in order to anticipate the trees movements and ensure the safety of the staff involved.”
The Gruffalo’s Child trail and the Centre’s woodland paths will remain closed until the tree has been removed and the trails can be reopened safely for visitors.
Centre Manager, Nathalie Hall said: “Heavy rain and flooding is a continuous problem on our site and maintenance staff work tirelessly, clearing debris and repairing flood damage so the Centre can remain operational. It is unfortunate that having just reopened the trail the fallen tree means we have to restrict access to our woodland area and adventure playground. The good news is that the tree fell during the night and not during opening hours as that could have been far more catastrophic.”
Visitors will still have full access to the Centre’s building, café, shop, cottage and craft activities.

Explore Gloucestershire
9 January 2014

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