Dangerous branches ‘could kill walkers’

NILABE111004c1, Concerns over tree falling down, potters lock erewash canal, Ilkeston.
NILABE111004c1, Concerns over tree falling down, potters lock erewash canal, Ilkeston.

A TREE overhanging the Erewash Canal, which has had branches ripped down twice in 18 months in strong winds could kill someone, according to a dog walker.

The large tree on the towpath near Potter’s Lock in Larklands has electricity cables running through its branches, leading to a pumping station – and John Chapman fears a strong gust could be fatal if the cables hit the water.

NILABE111004c3, Concerns over tree falling down, potters lock erewash canal, Ilkeston.

NILABE111004c3, Concerns over tree falling down, potters lock erewash canal, Ilkeston.

During bad weather in March last year a large branch came down, pulling the cables down with it.

And in September a branch came down forcing Derbyshire County Council to undergo emergency work on the tree

But David Jenkinson from the authority pinned a notice to the tree last week informing residents ‘the council does not accept any future liability’ for it.

Similarly British Waterways has said it is not their problem.

Mr Chapman, who passes the tree two to three times a day walking his dog, has said the authorities are ‘passing the buck’.

“Someone needs to take responsibility for it,” he said.

“If you get a high wind you are going to finish up with it pulling those cables down into the canal.

“Barges stop underneath it and there are always people walking along the towpath.

“If something isn’t done, someone will be killed.”

A spokesman for the county council said: “This tree is not ours and it isn’t on our land.

“However, we are not prepared for the public to be put at risk.

“In the absence of being able to trace the owner we will do any work that needs doing.”

A spokesman for British Waterways said: “We can’t do anything about it ourselves because it isn’t on our land.

“If it was causing a particular safety hazard, if it was liable to fall over, we would have to speak to the local landowner.”