Mum’s horror at beach tree injury

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A environmental organisation has promised to review safety proceedures after a Christmas tree left at a popular sea-side resort left a St Helens schoolgirl with horrific injuries.

The National Trust will erect more fencing around the sand dunes at Formby Beach after the nine-year-old suffered weeks of excruciating pain after slicing her foot open while playing there with her family and mum Jenny Chisnall.

The tree was one of many left on the beach to help prevent coastal erosion.

A spokesman for the National Trust said: “We were very sorry to learn of the distress caused to Mrs Chisnall and her daughter whilst visiting Formby beach recently, and hope that her daughter is recovering from her injury.

“Christmas trees are placed in row within the dune system at Formby to help stabilise dune movement and prevent sand from encroaching on the car park and the tracks leading to site, which would mean the beach would no longer be accessible by car.

“We want all our visitors to have an enjoyable time at Formby, and our Welcome Leaflet, given out to everyone arriving at site by car includes a list of potential hazards on the beach to be aware of.

“These include sharp objects, fast moving currents and strong offshore winds.

“We already maintain temporary fencing around parts of the dune area and we will be erecting some further temporary fencing on the beach. We will try to establish the circumstances leading up to the cause of the incident involving Mrs Chisnall’s daughter and will review the risks posed by the use of Christmas trees in dune protection, including whether further measures to prevent a similar occurrence happening in future are needed.”

Jenny, 29, watched in horror as her little girl tripped and caught her foot on one of the branches of the tree.

Not only did this take a number of layers from the skin, causing her to lose large amounts of blood, but the injury also became infected, which led to her having to take strong antibiotics.

And unfortunately, the brave youngster had an allergic reaction to them - doubling her recovery time.

Since the incident, the Grange Valley Primary pupil hasn’t been able to participate in any school activities or sports and has become increasingly withdrawn, her worried mum said.

Jenny added: “A family day out, which was supposed to be enjoyable in the country’s rare summer sun, has just ended in misery.

“There were loads of dead Christmas trees in the sand dunes it’s scary to think that something worse could have happened.

“My daughter has had a miserable few weeks as the injury has caused her to miss out on a lot of school time, swimming lessons and playing with her friends.

“She really isn’t the same bright, bubbly girl she used to be.

“It’s affected her so much as it’s taken a long time to heal and I’m just thankful that none of my other children were hurt, especially my little boy who is just one.”