YAXLEY: Order served on owners of tree-death park

INSPECTORS have called for action to be taken to improve safety at a park following the death of a Sawtry Community College student from a falling branch.

Thirteen year old Sophie Howard was killed when a branch broke off from a tree she was sitting beneath at the Middlefields Road Recreation Ground on June 30.

Despite the efforts of doctors from a nearby GP surgery and paramedics, Sophie died from her injuries at Peterborough City Hospital.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued an improvement notice to park owners Yaxley Parish Council.

The order states that the council must “make arrangements for the safe management of its tree stock.” It also warned the HSE will review progress in early August.

Paul Carter, principal inspector said: “There is a 21 day right of appeal, and during this time it is inappropriate for HSE to comment further. If the council does not exercise its right of appeal, then details of the enforcement action will be entered onto HSE’s database approximately nine weeks after serving, where it remains in the public domain for a decade.”

Parish council chairman David Youles declined to comment at this stage.