A DRIVER was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving after a crash which destroyed the 100th tree planted by a Thornbury community group.

The chair of Thornbury’s Tree Strategy Group said members were ‘devastated’ after the sapling was flattened when a blue Seat Leon crashed into the roundabout in Grovesend Road.

Members of the group installed the Caucasian elm in 2016 and it was the 100th tree they had planted, and dedicated to the late parents of chairman Judith Hurford.

The Seat driver, a man in his 50s, was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving and assault after the incident – which also damaged flowers and street signs – and has since been released under police investigation.

Judith, Thornbury’s tree warden as well as chair of the strategy group, said: “This was a particularly devastating incident – not just because it was the 100th tree planted by Thornbury’s Tree Strategy Group but also because the tree was dedicated to my parents.”

Judith set up the group 10 years ago with the aim of planting more trees around Thornbury, and more than 150 have been installed so far.

There has been widespread condemnation of the damage caused to the roundabout.

Chair of Thornbury Town Council’s environment committee, Matt Stringer, said he was ‘shocked and disappointed’ by what had happened.

“I hope that we can replace the tree at some point and work with South Gloucestershire Council and Thornbury in Bloom with regards to the flower beds on the roundabout,” said Cllr Stringer.

“Discussions are already being held with regards to the flower beds and what will be planted for next year.”

Members of Thornbury in Bloom, which works closely with the Tree Strategy Group, are now looking to raise £350 to allow Judith to get the tree replaced.

Donations can be made at Thornbury Garden Shop on Thornbury High Street or via BACS.

For more details email thornburyinbloom@yahoo.co.uk

The collision in which the tree was destroyed took place on July 3.