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'Health and safety gone mad' - Villagers disappointed over removal of tree swing

PUBLISHED: 15:26 12 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:26 12 July 2019

Ruth Davies, 38, from Belton, was upset after Great Yarmouth Borough Council removed a tree swing her eight-year-old daughter had enjoyed. Picture: Ruth Davies.

Ruth Davies, 38, from Belton, was upset after Great Yarmouth Borough Council removed a tree swing her eight-year-old daughter had enjoyed. Picture: Ruth Davies.

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Residents of a Norfolk village were upset after the local council removed a tree swing their children had enjoyed.

Crofter's Walk in Belton, where a swing had hung from a tree before Great Yarmouth Borough Council workers removed it. Picture: Ruth Davies.Crofter's Walk in Belton, where a swing had hung from a tree before Great Yarmouth Borough Council workers removed it. Picture: Ruth Davies.

The swing had hung from a tree on Crofter's Walk in Belton - but earlier this week workers with Great Yarmouth Borough Council removed it while cutting back the tree.

Ruth Davies, 38, who lives in the village, said she noticed the swing was missing on Tuesday evening (July 9) after she had returned from work.

She has two children.

The youngest, eight-years-old, had often played on the swing.

Ms Davies said: "I thought that the council may have removed it as some of the other trees had been cut back.

"I felt disappointed as the kids loved the swings and just that it's health and safety gone mad.

"We are constantly faced with our children wanting to sit indoors on electronics, things like the swings gave kids a reason to get outside in the fresh air and get some exercise," she said.

Ms Davies added the swing had been there for over four years, originally put up by a father of one of the local children.

In a statement, Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: "To enable the council's ride-on lawn mower to gain access to cut the grass in that area, the tree in question was cut back this week as part of the council's grounds maintenance work and the tree swing was removed as part of that work.

"As the homemade swing had been in place for some years, it was in poor condition and not professionally hung, it was causing structural damage to the tree in question.

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"The council has no plans to reinstate a swing at this location," it said.

Villagers took to social media to debate the issue.

Grace Peters said: "Was gutted when I walked past."

Jamie Quin wrote: "The thing is, if they had an accident or anything, the parents would be the first to take legal action. Sad but it's the day and age we live in."

Jo Hirst commented: "It seems that Belton isn't allowed to have a character anymore... And then people wonder why the next generation are bored. It annoys me lots."

Sarah Bird wrote: "I always walk that way with my dog and daughter as she loves playing on that swing."

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