A TEST Valley scout group may have to fork out £5,000 after a tree crashed through their hut's roof.

An oak tree tore through the 9th Romsey (West Wellow) Scouts, Canada Road, building on Sunday, December 15.

Now the scout hut could be closed until January while the building is being repaired.

Chairperson for the Wellow Scout group, Joe Lindsay, said: "It is likely to cost up to £5,000 and we are looking to claim through our insurance.

"The tree damaged quite a lot of the internal structure, such as the roof timbers, and we will have to replace 300 tiles on the roof.

"The reality of the damage is quite a lot worse than we thought and we had to have a crane to take the tree out of the hut."

The 37-year-old added: "I think the tree came down on Sunday night, due to high winds and rain; fortunately one of our members who is associated with the group saw it in the morning and told us at about half eight on Monday.

"We had emails flying around and I was notified ten times throughout the day about this, so this is very well-known throughout the Wellow community.

"We have had to make some cancellations for people using the Scout hut and we may also have to delay some of the group meetings until the roof repairs are completed."

Joe said they are hoping to have the roof repaired "over the Christmas period", but wants to make sure the site is safe before anyone ventures into the hut again in "January".

He said: "We really appreciate all the support we have had from the community and it is quite touching really; it is just one of those things.

"We are hoping the tree will be cut on Christmas Eve because it is lying across the entrance at the moment."

No one was injured from the tree falling on the Scout hut.