Anger as hundreds of trees chopped along A47
- Credit: Sandra Squire
A councillor has spoken of her anger after Highways England (HE) chopped hundreds of trees along one of Norfolk's major roads.
Sandra Squire was "shocked" after spotting the trees had been cut while driving on the A47 between Tilney All Saints and Terrington St John.
The work, which saw 300 willow trees coppiced, was carried out as part of horticultural cutting and planting which saw that section of the A47 close overnight for the works.
HE said the work would improve public safety and that the trees would grow back.
But the independent borough and county councillor, said it went against the message of biodiversity she was trying to spread.
She added: "It’s now a complete eyesore along that stretch.
"It seems ridiculous that myself and others have put so much effort into persuading our councils to plant more trees to help with biodiversity and climate change, while Highways England is cutting them down as fast as we can plant them.
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"I can’t imagine for a minute that they were all dead or suffering from Ash dieback. They shouldn't have really been cut at this time of year anyway as birds may have been nesting."
Breckland District Councillor Roger Atterwill said he also spotted trees that had been cut on the A47 slip road westbound at Dereham.
But a HE spokesperson said: "We understand the value that trees have and how people feel about them.
"They play an important part in the wider landscape and environment, which is why we only remove trees when absolutely necessary. However, we haven’t removed any trees at this location, but have coppiced over 300 willows.
“During our regular checks we noticed many trees had issues which required remedial action, and we used coppicing to try and rectify this.
"This means the landscape will be more manageable and safer for the travelling public and will ultimately prolong the life of the trees.”
Mrs Squire was one of the councillors who created the concept behind Norfolk County Council's (NCC) one million trees project, with the goal of having more than one tree per person living in the county and becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
She added: "The real irony is that most of that section is in my division and I was the one who put forward the idea for the one million trees project."