Villagers campaign to save 200-year-old tree at Southrepps

The 200 year-old tree that is threatened with felling in Southrepps.

The 200 year-old tree that is threatened with felling in Southrepps. - Credit: Archant

Villagers are battling against the clock to prevent a 200-year-old oak tree from being chopped down.

A 200 year old tree was due to be cut down in Southrepps next week

A 200 year old tree was due to be cut down in Southrepps next week - Credit: Archant

The 15m tall tree in Southrepps, near Cromer, is due to be felled next week, but could receive a reprieve while further checks are made on its condition.

Concerned residents are hoping to save the tree on Long Lane, which they say is a haven for wildlife.

Victory Housing Trust announced it was intending to cut down the old oak, amid concerns it was causing a hazard to traffic. A branch of the tree that stands next to two homes managed by the housing trust has been hit by passing farm vehicles and lorries. However, following protests from villagers North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) and Norfolk County Council have asked that additional survey work is carried out on the tree.

Kathy Black, who lives close to the tree, said: 'There is a strong feeling, that the tree should be kept, it is one of the oldest in the village. It is very beautiful and supports a huge amount of wildlife. The tree has been here so long but does not have a voice, so we need to speak up to prevent its destruction.'

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Fellow campaigner Sue Jones said: 'It would be quite sad if a tree that had been here so long was lost. It has been part of the village all these years and I think it should stay unless it is shown to be a danger.'

NNDC cabinet member for planning and Southrepps, ward councillor Sue Arnold, said: 'The district council is committed to protecting amenity trees in a way that must be balanced against public safety. We are working with the county council and Victory Housing to ensure we know enough about the condition of this tree to be able to make an informed decision about its future.'

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A spokesman for Victory Housing said: 'The Norfolk County Council tree officer inspected the tree in Southrepps on December 2, and has recommended a further aerial inspection and a resistograph survey be undertaken before any major works were carried out.

'Victory is following the recommendation of the NCC Tree Officer, and we are now obtaining quotes to carry out this work. We work hard to preserve the thousands of trees under our care; however, public safety will always be our first consideration.'

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