Tributes paid to volunteer who died following fall from a tree in Gateshead park

Kevin Elliott died following a fall from a tree in Felling Park in Gateshead. Credit: NCJ Media

Tributes have been paid to a volunteer who died following a fall from a tree he was carrying out maintenance on in a Gateshead park.

Gateshead Council officials spoke of their "deepest sympathies" for the family of grandfather Kevin Elliott who died after "falling from a height" on Friday 18 March.

Northumbria Police have confirmed an investigation into his death had been handed over to the Health and Safety Executive.

A post on the Friends of Felling Park and Town Centre CIO paying tribute to the 71-year-old read: "He was a much loved husband, father and grandfather who was totally committed to making the Felling a better place for the whole community and his loss will be felt by many.

"As you will appreciate his death has been devastating to his family, friends and his fellow park volunteers. Our thoughts are with his wife Pat and all his family and friends. RIP Kevin."

A spokesperson for the North East Ambulance Service said they were called to the park at 10.50am on Friday to reports of a patient who had "fallen from a height".

A Health and Safety Executive investigation is underway into the death of Kevin Elliott at Felling Park Credit: NCJ Media

It is understood a community first aider was on site first, shortly followed by two ambulance crews and an air ambulance.A Northumbria Police spokesperson added: “Shortly before 11am on Friday (March 18) police received a report of concern for the welfare of a man who had fallen while carrying out maintenance on a tree at Felling Park in Gateshead.“Officers attended the area and paramedics were already at the scene, but sadly, despite their best efforts the 71-year-old man died at the scene. The incident has now been handed over the Health and Safety Executive (HSE.)”

On Monday, Philip Hindmarsh, service director for environment and fleet management at Gateshead Council, paid tribute to Mr Elliott.

He said: “We were shocked and saddened to hear of the death of one of the volunteers at Felling Park on Friday. Our deepest sympathies go to his family, friends and fellow volunteers."Volunteers play a vital role in many of our parks, and we are very grateful for all of their dedication and hard work to help make our parks beautiful spaces for us all to enjoy.

"We will be assisting Northumbria Police and the Health and Safety Executive with their ongoing investigation into this tragic incident.”A spokesperson for the HSE confirmed the organisation was aware of the death and "initial inquiries" had begun.