Uncertain future for Great Melton Cricket Club’s oak tree after branches fall

Members of Great Melton Cricket Club clear up the branches tree surgeons cut from the ground's oak t

Members of Great Melton Cricket Club clear up the branches tree surgeons cut from the ground's oak tree to save it after branches were falling down. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

It is a prominent feature of Great Melton Cricket Club and is used as boundary to mark the edge of the planing field.

Members of Great Melton Cricket Club clear up the branches tree surgeons cut from the ground's oak t

Members of Great Melton Cricket Club clear up the branches tree surgeons cut from the ground's oak tree to save it after branches were falling down. From left, front, Steve Phoenix, chairman; and Mike Phoenix, groundsman. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

But an oak tree, which is included in the rules of playing cricket at the ground, has had to undergo a dramatic transformation to help it thrive.

At the start of August a large branch from the tree, which is believed to be hundreds of years old, fell down during breezy conditions.

A tree surgeon was called out to cut some of the branches away.

But before the club hosted a junior competition, two more branches fell down. They were cleared away on the day and new boundaries had to be created to enable the matches to go ahead.


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Great Melton Cricket Club chairman Steve Phoenix, who helped to found the club in 1974, said he believed the tree may be rotten.

He said: 'We've had the tree surgeons out to try and save it. They have cut away all the dead branches and pruned it.

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'It now resembles more of a misshapen cactus rather than a tree.

'We are hoping it will now regenerate.'

The club moved to the ground on Hall Road in 1992.

And Mr Pheonix, who still plays cricket and helps to coach, said the tree had become part of the club.

'People are upset,' he said. 'I have had several texts and emails. The tree has become a main feature of the ground. You can't miss it when you come to the ground.

'We are in the middle of parkland and we are lucky to have the land we have.

'It will be sad if it does have to come down.

'We are lucky the branches falling happened over night and when no one was on the ground as people sometimes field under the tree.'

For more information about the cricket club visit http://www.greatmeltoncc.co.uk/

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