Two children, aged 6, taken to hospital after eating deadly berries in Northamptonshire school’s playground

A mum is warning about the danger of poisonous plants after her daughter and another boy were taken to hospital after eating yew tree berries in a school playground.

Friday, 4th December 2015, 5:30 am

The tree grows outside the grounds of Flore Church of England Primary School but the branches overhang the playground at the front of the building, dropping some berries into the yard.

Paige Costello, aged six, along with a boy schoolmate, picked up and ate some of the berries last week. Her grandmother found out what had happened and called 111 and was told the two children needed to be taken to hospital by ambulance.

Fortunately, neither of the children bit into the seed, which contains potentially deadly toxins, and were allowed home after seven hours of tests and monitoring.

Flore Primary School, with the yew tree to the left of the picture

Mum Naomie Doherty said: “It’s quite distressing to think what might have happened and it would be great if mums and dads could make sure their children know not to pick or eat any wild berries.”

Mrs Doherty has asked the Northamptonshire County Council, which owns the land outside the site, and the school to consider removing the tree.

However, both have said that it is better to teach children what is dangerous to eat rather than pull up trees.

The school added that it had this week ensured that the tree was trimmed back as far as possible from its walls.

Headteacher Jan Stoppani said: “We approached the parish council and their feeling, as well as that of our governing body, is that educating children is the better option.

“You can’t keep children wrapped up in cotton wool and it is good that they learn about potential danger.”

Gardening expert Johnnie Amos, who is a Flore Parish councillor, said: “It would be an over-reaction to pull up a tree as most gardens are full of poisonous plants. As far as anyone can tell, there have been no yew tree poisonings in at least 50 years.

“They only drop their berries at this time of year for about six weeks.

“We should educate children rather than have knee-jerk reactions.”