All Sycamore trees, Acer pseudoplatanus, are to have warning notices attached to them during autumn to warn of the highly dangerous falling Sycamore seeds. The seeds also known as helicopter seeds by enthusiasts and small children because of the way they rotate like helicopter blades, are a beautiful sight to behold during the autumn fall.
However, their beauty masks the hidden dangers of these falling seeds and councils across the UK are uniting in a concerted action plan to protect the public from their potentially lethal blades or wings, as they are better known.
One council spokesman highlighted the issue and gave a considered statement: "Sycamore seeds have been falling for centuries without anyone ever being hurt but this has been more down to luck than judgement. People have been getting away with it for far too long but that kind of luck will soon run out. Tests have shown that, given the pace they fall, in conjunction with the speed of the rotation, there is clearly a chance that one could severe an artery or take out an eye.
"We'd prefer people not to get within 40 feet of the Sycamore trees but that's unavoidable because they can't read the warning sign without coming within a few feet of the tree, which some may argue defeats the purpose. We accept that this does put their life at risk for a short space of time and they are advised on the notice to move back to a safe distance as quickly as possible after a reading a notice telling them to keep a safe distance."
Visitors to parks were surpised to see the warning notices but gave a positive reaction to the campaign of awareness.
Geoff Bentley, 35, who was visiting a local park said: "Some see it as health and safety madness but I think we all need reminding that stuff, especially leaves, can fall during the autumn. You can see leaves and seeds on the floor and not realise where they have come from or just how dangerous they are. I once had a large maple leaf obscure my vision one year and a friend slipped on an acorn and severely bruised their pride. I, for one, don't want to lose a limb on a particularly windy day."
Domestic gardens, which have Sycamore trees, will be expected to tape off the surrounding area of the tree and pin a notice on the front gate 'Caution: Please Be Aware of Falling Life Threatening Sycamore Seeds'.