08 Apr Public Liability Insurance Seals Future of Iconic Tree

Public Liability Insurance Seals Future of Iconic Tree


The ability of community and conservationists living on the Isle of Wight to secure public liability insurance for a weeping ash tree on the popular holiday destination means that the iconic tree can be saved from the chainsaw.

For a long time, it seemed that the local authority on the island would be cutting down the tree because of concerns about its infection with a fungus called inonotus hispidus and consequent instability.

However, the weeping ash, which is popularly referred to as the “Umbrella Tree”, can now be saved, leading to celebrations among campaigners and nature lovers on the island.

Broadcaster, author and wildlife expert Chris Packham is one of those to welcome the business insurance news. “Massive hats off to all the campaigners,” he said.

“Too often our elected decision makers are failing to understand the importance that nature plays in people’s lives and the need to invest in its conservation.

“But this saga hasn’t been about ‘a tree’ it’s been about an attitude to life and a need to increasingly respect life, all life.”

The tree is more than a century old and was planted by road foremen under the instruction of Queen Victoria. It has long been part of the identity of the East Cowes area of the island and its continuing existence has been welcomed by business insurance policyholders across the island, including those in the restaurant, pub, hotel and bed and breakfast sectors, many of whom added their signatures to the 4,000 that petitioned to save the tree.
The public liability insurance policy for the tree will be held by a community interest company – The Friends of the Umbrella Tree Ltd – that is due to soon formally take ownership and responsibility for the tree.

The group’s plans were assisted by the work of a structural engineer who designed a safety frame to encircle the tree as well as by a report made by an independent expert who determined that the tree posed no immediate danger to the public.

The campaigners on the Isle of Wight certainly know the importance of sufficient public liability cover. While it may not help you save any trees, having appropriate public liability cover, as well as other key forms of insurance in place, will certainly help protect your business.

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