Gravestones have been smashed in a church cemetery after high winds brought down a large tree.

Volunteers are now trying to make the churchyard safe at St Mary’s Church in Kempsey, near Worcester.

Eyewitnesses said the tree, believed to be a sycamore, was blown over by a gust of wind when Worcestershire was subject to a yellow weather warning for high winds by the Met Office on Monday.

It has left part of the graveyard with a big clear up operation to be undertaken, along with damage to tombstones that have been cracked by the fallen tree.

Branches and parts of the tree trunk are scattered over the graveyard beside the church.

Joy Clee, who is the church warden at St Mary’s Church, said: “It happened at 3.10pm on Monday, April 15.

“I wasn’t there at the time, I arrived after it had happened.

“It has fallen on and damaged tombstones in the graveyard and is across the path.

“We have a team of volunteers to help clear it and make the area safe.”

Mrs Clee said while a timeframe could not be specified for how long the clear-up operation would last, she said they would do “whatever it takes” to restore the graveyard to its previous state.

She added that the tree was a victim of strong winds that hit the region at the beginning of the week.