A chestnut tree which has been a constant feature within the boundary rope at Barkby United’s cricket ground has been cut down.
The club said the tree, which was believed to be more than 300-years-old, had come to the end of its natural lifespan. They believed it had long since become a safety hazard for fielders, and in summer 2013 several rotten branches fell off.
Veteran Barkby cricketer Kevin Flowers said: “The tree has stopped many of my fours and sixes over the years.
“On the plus side it has stopped boundaries when I have bowled loose deliveries. It will seem strange without the tree being there.”
The health of horse chestnuts has been put in peril by leaf minor caterpillars which attack the tree and cause chestnut canker. It is feared the tree could disappear within 20 years unless a cure is found.
Landowner John Pochin decided to fell the tree to avert any further spread of the disease, and the club will plant two replacement hardwood trees later this summer.
Club chairman Ian Berrisford said: “We are very grateful to Mr Pochin. The removal of this tree guarantees the future of the game of cricket in Barkby.”