Time runs out to save 200-year-old tree at Southrepps

A 200-year-old tree in Southrepps will have to be felled after it was found to be unsafe. Picture: M

A 200-year-old tree in Southrepps will have to be felled after it was found to be unsafe. Picture: MILES JERMY - Credit: Archant

Time has run out for a 200-year-old tree which will have to be chopped down after it was found to be unsafe.

Villagers in Southrepps, near Cromer, had fought to save the old oak, which they said was a haven for wildlife.

The 15m tall tree had been due to be felled in December, but was reprieved for further checks on its condition.

Victory Housing Trust announced it was intending to cut down the old oak on Long Lane, 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.

North Norfolk District Council and Norfolk County Council surveyed the tree and advised Victory Housing that further investigations needed to be undertaken.

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The trunk and branch were both then found to have be rotting, creating a risk to pedestrians and vehicles. A new tree will be planted to replace the stricken oak.

NNDC Cabinet member for planning and ward member for Southrepps Sue Arnold said: 'The district council is committed to protecting amenity trees in a way that must be balanced against public safety.

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'It is sad that on this occasion the tree could not be saved but our first priority has to be to the safety of our residents.

'We would like to thanks Victory Housing and Norfolk County Council for their cooperation during this investigation. And we would like to thank our residents for their passion for conserving the natural environment that makes North Norfolk such a special place.'

Kathy Black, who lives close to the tree on Long Lane, said: 'We tried our best to save the tree, but accept that it is dangerous and will have to come down. It would be terrible if there was an accident and anyone was hurt.'

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