The 30-year-old woman, who had been living in London, was treated by emergency services but died at the scene yesterday afternoon.

Passer-by Gary Baker told the Daily Mail he believed the branch had fallen from a 60-foot tall tree.

“There was a bang and I jumped around at what sounded like three or four gunshots,” he told the paper.

“I looked and could see what remained of the branch. I didn’t see it hit the woman but it was quite clear she was badly hurt.”

New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed the nationality of the woman and that the victim’s family is being given support and consular advice. She has not yet been named but her next of kin has been informed.

The popular Royal Botanic Gardens site has been closed following the tragic incident, officially due to a severe weather warning for London and the South East, with the MET office forecasting winds of 50-55mph and heavy rain.

Image via CC David Iliff