Council confirms Bedford Park’s “dangerous” ‘wonky tree’ will come down

Wonky Tree Bedford Park Foster Hill Road Image Bedford Borough Council
Image: Bedford Borough Council

At 16 meters high and over 100 years old, Bedford Borough will soon say goodbye to Bedford Park’s famous ‘wonky tree’ after five years of monitoring found it was no longer safe.

Situated by North Cottages and Robinson pool, the ‘wonky tree’ has been a talking point thanks to its extreme lean. But, say Bedford Borough Council, the tree must now come down due to the hazards it poses to the community.

Since the first measurement in 2019, the pine tree’s lean has steadily increased to a total of 12 cm, and just the past year has increased by 9 cm, now leaning at what looks an angle close to 45 degrees.

It’s this that the council says is making the tree progressively less stable.

Due to the tree’s location, there is a cause for concern as it could become a danger to lives and its surroundings so the Council made the difficult decision to remove it.

A Bedford Borough spokesperson told the Bedford Independent, “We understand this might be disappointing news for some, but safety is our top priority.

“A number of options have been considered over the last five years to try and retain this tree but unfortunately none could guarantee its long-term survival and they would come at a considerable cost.”

They add that additional complexities include “vehicular access to the park and a potential reduction in the size of the car parking area”.

A date for removal is still to be decided, but Bedford Borough Council’s parks team say they are looking to replace the ‘wonky tree’ with a new, suitable species of tree that they hope will thrive in the park.

In the last tree planting season, November 2023 to March 2024, Bedford Borough Council said they planted 11,000 trees and gave away another 5,000 to local people, schools and businesses to plant on their own land.