A 200-YEAR-OLD tree in a Buckfastleigh church was set alight in what is said to have been a deliberate fire.

Firefighters from the town were called to reports of a tree on fire at the Holy Trinity Church.

The alarm was raised on Saturday morning after it was seen that the tree was burning. 

Fire crews from the town realised it was obvious the tree, thought to be 200 years old and the oldest on the church site, had been burning all night. 

Extensive damage could be seen on the tree. 

A spokesman for Buckfastleigh fire station said: ‘The tree is now extremely unstable and will now be removed by tree surgeons.

‘A taped cordon is in place and should not be approached by members of the public due to the risk of it falling down.’

The cause of the fire is said to be deliberate and the church warden was contacting the police.

Having dealt with the fire and made the area safe and following a slight ‘altercation’ with a local angry hornet, fire crews returned to the station.