Decision to fell tree defended by town council amid outcry from group of campaigners
- Credit: Archant
A plan to cut down a tree that is believed to be more than 100-years-old has caused a stir in St Ives, with residents left “upset” by the proposal.
St Ives Town Council is planning on cutting down the horse chestnut tree in Warners Park due to internal bark decay.
However, residents have started a campaign group called the 'St Ives Tree Action Group' and are urging the town council to reconsider the plans, as they have raised concerns over the potential for nesting bats in the tree.
A spokesman for the group said: "Our main concern is that this type of work should not be done at this time of year. This is a tree that means a lot to people in the town, and I don't think a lot of thought has gone into chopping this tree down, and we are worried that another one of our trees is going to be cut down."
The group has now also paid for an independent survey to be carried out on the tree.
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St Ives town councillor, John Tiddy is supporting the group, and has said that he's "still not convinced" the tree needs felling.
Cllr Tiddy said: "This tree is history and it's part of our park, and people are very upset about this proposal, I just wish that the town council would hold off on the plans for now."
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However, St Ives Town Council has defended the decision to fell the tree saying that it "should be felled as soon as possible".
A spokesman said that, following a survey that was carried out on all town council trees late last year, concern was raised about the structural stability of the tree and an investigation was carried out.
According to the town council, specialist test results showed the inside of the tree was rotten, and that it had no structural integrity, meaning that the trunk was hollow. Results also showed that rot was rising internally.
St Ives Town Council clerk, Alison Benfield said: "The town council has looked into all options to not fell this particular tree however the results of all tests and investigations carried out indicate that there are no other options and we have to fell it."