A SCHOOL has handed back a tree given as a prize because of fears it could poison children.
The hazelnut tree was presented to Kirkroyds Infant School in New Mill as part of Kirklees Council's Healthy Schools Award.
But when school bosses realised the tree could trigger potentially fatal nut allergies in some of the pupils staff decided not to plant it.
Now the school - which has more than 150 pupils - has sent the tree back.
It has been exchanged for a mountain ash (rowan).
The worries began when the school was given the tree early last week.
It was due to be presented during an assembly.
However, school bosses realised that the tree was capable of bearing nuts and so it could trigger serious allergic reactions in a number of the five to seven-year-old pupils.
Governors' chairman Dawn Whiteley said the school had acted quickly to halt the potentially disastrous situation.
She added: "We had the tree removed.
"It had tags on it, so staff knew what the tree was and also recognised the effect it could have."
Miss Whiteley denied suggestions that the school was being over-sensitive.
She said: "The school believes that all children should be able to go to all areas of the school and grounds.
"We didn't want to have a tree in the grounds which meant some children couldn't have full access."
Whiteley's Garden Centre, of Leeds Road, Mirfield, sponsors the Healthy Schools Awards and gives away trees.
Bedding plants manager Steve Halliday said the centre had given more than 100 trees to the scheme.
He added: "We try to choose native trees for the school. There are no particular guidelines. But as soon as we were alerted to the problem we changed this tree."
A Kirklees Council spokesman said: "We have reminded schools to be aware of children who have severe food allergies.
"These are commonly reactions to nuts and shellfish. So when Kirkroyds was presented with a hazelnut tree staff were rightly concerned.
"Whiteley's have now exchanged the tree and all the children will be able to enjoy watching the mountain ash grow."