The 20-metre horse chestnut tree on the small green opposite came crashing down during Storm Dudley, its branches splintering. The falling giant tore a huge limb off a neighbouring tree but otherwise did little damage, missing nearby houses. At that moment there was no one on the footpath underneath.
2日後, 中 Storm Eunice, a second tree, previously protected from the full force of the wind by the horse chestnut, also succumbed. The green became a jumble of branches.
In between the two storms and afterwards neighbours took photographs, others carried off detached limbs, while some, more organised, brought saws and wheelbarrows to collect “free” wood.
Council workers did not arrive for another week, no doubt otherwise occupied clearing dozens of large trees that had come down in this part of Bedfordshire.
The workers collected the smaller branches, feeding them in an industrial scale chipper, and then began to cut up the larger limbs. In the past these would also have been carried off to be disposed of but with energy costs so high the policy has changed. The branches were cut into logs and the giant trunk was sawn into neat, easy to split, slices. Residents were encouraged and even helped to carry them off. In two hours every piece was gone.