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Anger as Cumbrian council chops down cherry tree

Residents are furious after a much-loved cherry tree was felled by the council.

Whitehaven tree photo
Sarah Marsh, front, of Revival Hair stylists, with colleagues Karen Hodgson and Amy Thompson at the stump

The tree had stood in Front Corkickle, Whitehaven for what is believed to be more than a century and witnesses claim that it was removed as a money-saving exercise.

But Copeland council denies this, saying the tree was removed because it was in danger of falling over and had neared the end of its life.

The alarm was raised on Saturday when Chris Marsh, from Revival Hair Design, took to Facebook and said: “This takes the biscuit. The tree outside our shop, next to Marchon Club, has been there for ever and the council has just cut it down.

“The reason from the contractors is that it will save the council money through not having to look after it.”

Other people immediately posted about the “disappearance” of the tree, with many saying it was a prominent feature and used in many wedding photos.

Mark Christopher Shackley said he passed the tree every day. “I am over 6ft and no branches were ever in my way. Could have cut them back, not kill the whole tree.

“As for unsafe and leaning, you could have put a tractor around that tree and would have had difficulty pulling it out.

“As for replanting another tree in its place, how long would that take to bloom like that one did?”

Speaking yesterday, Gerard Richardson, who runs Richardson’s Wine Shop, said that he had gone into Whitehaven during the afternoon and noticed the tree had gone.

He said: “It was a beautiful cherry tree – it had been there for years and was a gnarled old thing. Quite why it has come down I don’t know.

“It was only about nine feet tall but it was probably about 140 years old. It couldn’t have been a health and safety issue because if it fell over it wouldn’t hurt a fly. It didn’t look dangerous at all.”

A council spokeswoman said that council staff removed the tree because it had been “leaning over the footpath” for a long time.

“As it neared the end of its life, this leaning had caused the roots to lift up and the tree to become unstable,” she added.

“There was a probability that, eventually, it would topple on to the pavement.”

The authority said it will plant a new cherry tree in the winter to replace it.

Have your say

If we didn't have social networks/media would anyone really have noticed this tree had gone. They are going to replace it!!! For goodness sake, there are far more important issues going on in the world. It's gone - deal with it!!

Posted by barbiegirl2010 on 7 October 2013 at 10:38

Wars don't get this level of coverage

Posted by Anon on 2 October 2013 at 17:12

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