Churchwardens, pine cones and a cheeky squirrel

Some light relief from Brexit

The short, 2-page judgment Re St Peter West Blatchington [2019] ECC Chi 4 (revised) will be of interest to those with the responsibilities for the care and maintenance of churchyards. Trees in churchyards seldom feature in reported judgments, and this consideration of the dangers from falling pine cones is probably a first. The petitioners relied on an expert report on the 18m Scots Pine; the crown spread is 8m and its diameter at breast height (DBH) is 600mm; minor deadwood is present through the crown. The report states [4]:

“The tree is situated at the junction of two paths within the grounds of the church and the crown spreads over an area used as an entrance for a pre-school. An abundance of pine cones are produced which take two years to mature. These pine cones are the subject of concern as previously persons passing have been struck by falling cones, The falling of pine cones upon passing persons does pose a significant risk of injury.” Continue reading