STORM winds have ripped through the town felling a large tree in Whitley and creating a "dangerous" playground for children.

The trunk of the willow had split clean through the middle leaving a footpath blocked off and landing close to the back garden of a neighbouring home in Heroes Walk.

Since the collapse in the high gusts of Storm Katie on Monday morning children have taken to clambering on its branches leaving some residents concerned they might injure themselves.

Annie Waterfield-Thomas, who lives next door to where the tree collapsed, said she heard a "big thud" early on Monday morning as the tree snapped and crashed to the ground.

She added: "The kids have been crawling all over it so it's a bit dangerous at the moment and it's blocking the path.

"I think we got away quite lightly after seeing what happened over in Woodley with the scaffolding.

Reading Chronicle:

"The council came recently to prune all these trees and took one down next to that one.

"Someone said the tree that fell down was rotten inside."

Council officers were seen assessing the area this morning and are understood to be in the process of making the site safe and clearing away the debris.

Elsewhere shops in Woodley precinct remain closed after a large section of scaffolding was torn from the buildings.

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