Please read below for update on Cassiobury Park...
14 August (Park reopen) - We are still working on the damage caused to trees in Cassiobury Park by Wednesday’s storm. Whilst the Park is not closed today (Friday), we would encourage you to visit only if you have to as emergency tree works are still underway and we have had to close paths and limit access in these areas to ensure people’s safety, which is our top priority.
Councillor Karen Collett, Deputy Mayor of Watford said; 'A number of trees in the Park were badly damaged by the storm earlier in the week and we have had to work quickly to make the Park safe. The good news is that Cassiobury can reopen today but there is still emergency work we need to do on some of the fallen trees and branches. We would ask people to stay safe and follow the signage to avoid areas that are taped off for the public’s safety. Whilst we all feel the loss of so many trees, we are delighted that the Park’s ‘Lion King tree’, which is such a well-loved Watford landmark, appears to have been spared from any storm damage. We are looking forward to welcoming people back to our fantastic park today.'
13 August (Park Closed) - Due to the bad weather many of us experienced in Watford yesterday it resulted in damage to trees across Cassiobury Park causing multiple safety hazards. We have temporarily closed the park today and taped off any hazardous areas so that a specialist team of tree experts can assess the damage today.
The council is, therefore, advising people not to visit Cassiobury Park for their own safety. Barriers have been placed at several entrances to advise people not to enter the park.
Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said, 'Cassiobury Park took a direct hit from the storms last night and due to this many trees have suffered extensive damage. Tree experts have been in the park this morning and have recommended we temporarily close the park to keep visitors safe from falling trees and debris. This has been done temporarily whilst emergency repair work takes place to the affected trees. I know this will be a frustration to the park’s many visitors but keeping people safe must be our highest priority. The park will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.’
Each year around 6 people in the UK are killed when trees or branches fall on them. Around 3 people are killed each year by trees in public spaces. Whilst the risk of being struck and killed by a tree or branch falling is extremely low, the safety of our park users is our priority.
Where a fallen tree is big they are left on site for biodiversity. Tree timber is an important habitat for rare UK wildlife, including stag beetles. Smaller branches are chipped up and used as mulch for our parks or re-used.
If you see a tree down because of high winds, and it seems like an emergency because it’s blocking a road or pathway, contact Watford Council's call centre on 01923 226400, they will put your call through to one of the Tree Officers in our Parks Team. We will work closely with our tree contractor, Herfordshire County Council, the police and fire services to clear trees and keep things moving.