Lucky escape for toddlers as Edinburgh woman struck by falling tree in high winds

A group of four toddlers had a “very lucky escape” as the Edinburgh woman looking after them was struck by a falling tree during high winds.

Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 2:11 pm

Childminder Annwen Bridgland shouted on the youngsters - all aged two and three - to move back when the tree came down in a “split second” as they walked together along Warriston path, at the bridge over Warriston Road, at about noon on Tuesday.

The Powderhall resident was left with headaches and a sore neck but said it was fortunate the little ones had been slightly further away from the tree and were only skiffed by some of the outer branches.

She told the Edinburgh Evening News: “How they were not hurt, I don’t know. It was a very emotional day - and very frightening. We were very, very lucky but it could have been very different.”

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Annwen shouted at three of the children to move away from the falling tree as she pushed the fourth toddler closest to her back from it, moments before she was hit on the head and knocked to the ground on Tuesday.

In the aftermath, the children were understandably upset and Annwen - who remained conscious despite the impact - managed to crawl out from under the tree and run round to the other side of it to comfort them and check them over.

As they walked on to St Mark’s Park, Annwen decided to call her GP as she started feeling dizzy and nauseous. She has been told this can be expected but to keep an eye on her symptoms in the coming days.

She continued: “I was scared and I can not imagine how the children were feeling, suddenly seeing this tree coming down and then seeing me down and under it.

Annwen was struck by the tree as it came down on Tuesday.

“I told their parents what had happened and they have been amazing - they were concerned and relieved and thankful too.”

Annwen also wants to urge others to take care when out and about near trees during high winds.

Just moments before the incident, she had been speaking to an older couple and another woman with a pram had passed them as well as others on bikes.

Annwen said two men who arrived shortly after the incident suggested the tree may have been rotten.

And she said that, during the walk, she had also noticed another much bigger tree which had fallen down into the Water of Leith.

She added: “There are so many trees on that path and I love all the trees, but I think I will be very wary of them on a windy day.”

An Edinburgh City Council spokesperson confirmed that the tree concerned has been made safe, cut up and the pieces will be lifted shortly.

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