Health and safety fears prompt ‘falling conkers’ warning sign on tree

HEALTH and safety fears have led to a council placing a sign on a horse chestnut tree at a Suffolk tourist spot warning of falling conkers.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council took the decision after two visitors to the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds were hit on the head by the seeds as they walked under a tree by the Abbey Gate.

Yesterday, some visitors to the gardens branded the sign as “over the top,” while others said they could also understand why the sign was needed.

Peter Griggs, 71, from Haverhill, said he thought it was a bit extreme, with his wife Mary, 69, adding how passersby would not really get hurt by a falling conker.

Another parkgoer added: “I think that’s a bit daft really. They are only conkers.”

But Helen Young, 31, from Thetford, who was with her partner Gareth Young, 38, said she could see both sides of the argument.

Mr Young, who is originally from Bury, added: “I would say the worst case scenario would be to take the tree out, but where would we be without our trees? I think we are lucky to have the park.”

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The pair narrowly missed being hit on the head by conkers falling from the tree.

A council spokeswoman said: “There is a horse chestnut tree in the Abbey Gardens just inside the Abbey Gate.

“Two people have come to the office and requested that a temporary advisory notice be posted on the tree to warn other park users after they had been shocked by conkers falling on their heads.”