Witney Town Council is preparing to fell one of the town’s substantial Beech trees, within Tower Hill cemetery. It has recently shed a large bough, the second in two years, and upon examination it has become apparent that the tree is becoming dangerous and needs to be removed. The second bough fell over the weekend, blocking two paths and narrowly missing several headstones.
The Beech was of such a size that it will take a few days to properly clear away the fallen branch and fell the remainder of the tree.
Given the age and condition of many of the trees in the cemetery the Town Council has, for the last few years, undertaken significant replacement planting in order to preserve and maintain Tower Hill’s familiar leafy canopy. An additional Beech will be added to this Autumn’s planting schedule.
The Beech trees will be recognisable to most visitors. Several of them line the walk up the footpath from the entrance at the bottom of Tower Hill. In Folklore Beech is considered the Queen of British Trees, associated with ancient knowledge, and with its dense canopy and deep shade it is a valuable wildlife habitat, sustaining butterflies, birds and some of the more unusual shade loving plants.
Losing a tree is always such a pity but regretfully, in public access areas, the only option is to fell diseased and dying trees. This Beech is such a well-loved part of the landscape that the Town Council is hoping to use parts of the main trunk to create two natural style benches to place at the side of the footpath so that it still has a place where it has stood for so long.