Sad News from Thornton churchyard

As many of you know, there is a beautiful avenue of magnificent beech trees along Thornton churchyard path.  These elderly trees, around 115 years old, and their wonderful canopies are greatly admired and loved by us all, indeed, are a feature of our beautiful churchyard.

Copyright – Gillatphotography

Well, the very sad news is that the beautiful fruiting fungi that we have all so admired over the last few months, growing around the base of the Beech tree tagged T1 and nearest the lychgate, has caused the demise of this tree.

Copyright Gillatphotography

The fungi have been identified as Meripilus Giganteus, a giant polypore which attacks the tree’s root system.  Three separate tree surgeons and an ecologist have let me know that the tree is in danger of toppling over as it now has very little root support.  It is very close to housing and two footpaths.

The felling of this tree, T1, needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.

There are headstones and memorials in the vicinity which must be temporarily removed to allow the work to take place.  I have applied to HBBC and to the diocese for permission to fell the tree and remove the headstones and memorials.

The estimated cost for these works is currently over £7000.  We are hoping to be able to claim back the VAT, but it’s not definite that we can.  There is around £3000 in the churchyard account so we don’t have enough money to pay for this.  Most church building repairs we do try to fund ourselves, for example the recent urgent stonework repairs to stop the ingress of water, but this is something we just don’t have all the money for.  Any help we can be given would be greatly appreciated.  If you would like to donate, cheques should be made payable to Thornton, Bagworth and Stanton PCC.

I am truly sorry to convey this news.  We will replant whenever a tree is felled, taking advice regarding appropriate species.  We need to keep a sharp lookout for any fruiting fungi around the roots of the other Beech trees.  If you spot any, please do let us know.

For now, the only suggestion I can make is that we enjoy these beech trees while we can and take a lot of photos.

Shirley Garlick

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