A trainee tree surgeon from North Baddesley has put his skills to good use by moving a tree felled by Storm Henk which was blocking a road.

Jake Smith was braving the elements on Tuesday night, driving with his mum Amanda to get some dinner from Waitrose, when he came face to face with the huge oak blocking Luzborough Lane.

The quick-thinking 20-year-old got his tools out of his Land Rover and set to work helping the emergency services, clearing the tree within half an hour.

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Daily Echo: The tree was cleared in around 30 minuetsHe said: “We came up on it and I knew I would be able to help.

“I’m four years through my course in being a tree surgeon and also work for a local tree surgeon company – I knew I had the skills to help out and get the road clear.

“It just kind of felt like the right thing to do – it was great to be able to use what I have learnt for the benefit of people in my area.”

Daily Echo: The tree was cut into sections and dragged away from the roadWith his chain saw, harnesses and his trusted Land Rover, he set to work - and the whole community got stuck in, with the caretaker of The Mountbatten School in Romsey and other local residents helping clear the debris. 

Grateful emergency crews at the scene told the pair it would have taken more than four hours to get a contractor to move the tree.

A proud Amanda, aged 49, said a big thank you to everyone who helped her son.

She added: “He wanted to do this for his community – it was completely his choice, and I got the opportunity to see all that he has learnt.

“He knew exactly where to cut and how do it.

“It made me very proud – not just that he wanted to help his community, but also that he has learnt his craft so well.”