PUBLISHED: 13:17 23 January 2006 | UPDATED: 21:37 28 May 2010
TWELFTH Night may have come and gone but March's civic Christmas tree has been hiding a secret which will guarantee its survival until well into February. Forget a partridge in a pear tree, its more a case of a collared dove in a Christmas tree. Contracto
TWELFTH Night may have come and gone but March's civic Christmas tree has been hiding a secret which will guarantee its survival until well into February.Forget a partridge in a pear tree, its more a case of a collared dove in a Christmas tree.Contractors who turned up on Monday to take down the 36-feet-high tree were busy clearing some of the branches when they noticed a nest complete with eggs.It seems the dove has made a cosy home in the tree which was put up on the Market Place at the beginning of December as the focal point for the Christmas lights switch-on.Occupation by the dove will delay removal of the tree by at least 18 days and land March Town Council with extra expense.Town councillor Kit Owen was hoping to reach some agreement with the contractors to remove some of the tree's lower branches which have been obstructing the pavement around the tree's base.Cllr Owen said: "We have checked with the RSPB at Sandy and we cannot touch the tree. It is 18 days before the birds are likely to fly and I suppose in the meantime another bird could come along and build a nest."It is impeding the footway, which we expect around Christmas, but we would like to see it gone now."He said the contractors were concerned about the stability of the tree if lower branches were removed, but he thought a compromise could be reached.