Couple 'broken' after tornado splits ancient oak tree in East Devon

  • Watch the moment the ancient tree was 'split in half' in a tornado in east Devon.

A 150-year-old tree has been "split in half" by what was believed to have been a tornado in east Devon.

Simon West, the tree's owner, said he was inside his house in Tipton St John, near Sidmouth, when he heard rain followed by an "enormous cracking sound" on Saturday evening.

Part of the tree fell on a driveway and knocked down a telegraph pole, which was replaced on Sunday.

What is left of the Oak will need to be cut down because it's not safe.

Part of the tree fell on a driveway and knocked down a telegraph pole.

Owners Tracey and Simon West run a tree planting charity in Kenya called Word Forest to mitigate against climate change.

Tracey said "We plant trees and build schools so trees are very close to our heart, this has broken us both, just really broken us both in half".

Simon added: "We don't get big tornados very often in the UK, about thirty (small ones) a year, and for it to come to our doorstep is quite shocking but we will be planting something here to replace it and we will get our colleagues in Kenya to plant several hundred to absorb the CO2 that this one no longer can."

They're now appealing to the local community for ideas on what they can do with what is left of the tree to try and give it another life after the devastation of the tornado.