Surrey church spire damaged by woodpeckers

Work has started to repair a spire on a Surrey church after it was badly damaged by woodpeckers.

The birds caused "extensive damage" by making holes in parts of the spire made of cedar at St Mary's Church in Headley near Epsom.

A grant of £78,000 was awarded from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The money will enable the cedar parts to be replaced with oak, which will be treated to stop the infestation of the insects sought after by woodpeckers.

The Rector, Rev Linda Harknett, said: "We are delighted that the vital repair work can now proceed, enabling St Mary's magnificent spire to endure as an important feature of the local landscape, visible for miles around."

The church has close links with nearby Headley Court rehabilitation centre for wounded service personnel.

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