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Last Updated: Monday, 10 January, 2005, 10:11 GMT
End of innings for cricket tree
The blown-over tree
The famous lime tree had been in ill health for a few years
A famous lime tree inside the boundary of Canterbury's cricket ground has been a victim of the weekend's high winds.

The tree, more than 200 years old, has been a landmark at the St Lawrence Ground - home of Kent County Cricket Club - since it opened.

It had been in ill health for a few years and was broken in half by a strong gust of wind on Friday night.

The club hopes to replace the tree with a new one and pieces of the dead tree may be sold off to fans.

'Sad day'

The ground opened in 1847 - built around the tree - and while it is not unique in having a tree inside the boundary, it is the most famous.

If the ball hits the tree it counts as four runs.

The demise of the tree was discovered on Saturday morning when staff arrived at the ground to find a 7ft stump.

The lime tree in happier days
The tree loomed large over the outfield in happier days

Club chief executive Paul Millman said: "It's been in intensive care for several years and we planted a substitute about four years ago in anticipation of this sad day."

Mr Millman said the club would remove the stump and would discuss whether to replace the tree or not.

He said: "There's the debate about tradition versus the future, but I know many people will be keen to see tradition upheld.

"This tree is more than 200 years old and I think one has to bear in mind that past.

"I think most people would want the tree replaced."

In pictures: Storm sweeps UK
08 Jan 05 |  In Pictures


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