Fight is on to save town’s trees

Protesters who are trying to save Lime Trees in Tickhill
Protesters who are trying to save Lime Trees in Tickhill
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Residents have re-started a battle to protect one of Doncaster’s oldest rows of trees, after plans to cut them down re-emerged.

Doncaster Council wants to chop down 64 lime trees on Bawtry Road through Tickhill and replace them with oak trees.

It is a false choice put forth that in order to plant new trees we must fell healthy, mature trees

But residents who fought a battle to keep the mature trees three years ago say they fear the authority may go on to cut down more trees in the borough and say their own independent report has stated the trees are healthy.

Now they have reformed the campaign group Save Tickhill’s Trees to fight to save the trees, planted in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.

Two reports the group commissioned confirmed the trees were classified in ‘fair condition’ and none of the trees were dying.

The group has 300 names on a petition to keep the trees, collected in a week, and says there is public support for saving the avenue, and to avoid a precedent of felling by default.

Campaigners hope to register the Jubilee Avenue trees on the Ancient Tree Register of the Woodland Trust.

Save Tickhill’s Trees member, Richard Clarke said: “We accept and support the need to plant new trees in the village as part of succession planning. We are very keen to play our part . It is a false choice put forth that in order to plant new trees we must fell healthy, mature trees.

“We are extending an olive branch to the DMBC to offer our assistance to find a suitable location for the oak saplings. We are open to considerations such as inter-planting the existing lime trees in the jubilee avenue, once the mature limes have been maintained, or finding another location.

Doncaster Council asssistant director of environment, Gill Gillies, said: “The independent tree specialist made it clear that while the trees are in ‘fair’ health now, they don’t have a long term future.

“Knowing this, the community and Tickhill Town Council raised £14,000 for 80 replacement oak trees, which have been grown for a number of years and now need to be planted or else they will be lost.

“The alternative is that at the end of the current trees’ natural life, in two to three decades, there won’t be a tree-lined avenue and the work of the Town Council and community will be wasted.

“We are in the process of arranging a meeting with Save Tickhill’s Trees, so we can fully outline the reasons for this replanting work.”