Opposition mounts as historic South Yorkshire trees face axe

Under threat: The avenue of trees on Bawtry Road date back to Queen Victoria's days but now they could be felled.                                                                                                   Picture: Steve Taylor.
Under threat: The avenue of trees on Bawtry Road date back to Queen Victoria's days but now they could be felled. Picture: Steve Taylor.
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Residents of Tickhill are mounting an 11th hour campaign to save from the axe the town’s historic avenue of lime trees.

Locals have turned to social media - and the Government - to spread the message about the planned felling of 80 trees which have been growing on Bawtry Road since Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887.

Tickhill Town Council and Doncaster Council have agreed the trees should come down from October this year, to be replaced over the next four years by 15ft oaks.

A report prepared by Doncaster Council back in 1995 indicated the trees are showing the effects of ageing and excess road salt.

But a growing number of Tickhill residents say they are unhappy with the decision to fell what they believe to be perfectly healthy trees.

They have enlisted the support of an independent tree expert, Jo Ryan, from York - who, on seeing the trees for the first time, expressed her surprise they are to be removed and gave an ‘unbiased opinion’ that they are good for another 100 years.

Campaigners have obtained many signatures on a petition and have also instigated an online petition through the Department of Communities and Local Government as well as a Facebook page.

One of protesters, Katy Moss, said: “While we can appreciate that a few of them may need felling due to health and safety reasons, the majority appear healthy and strong and have a high utility value to the community.

“No independent report has been done to our knowledge or, if it has, it is not available.

“Tickhill has a large conservation area within it, but these trees are not even protected by Tree Preservation Orders, hence our town council don’t even need planning permission to remove them.

“Some say it’s a done deal but, until the diggers arrive, we disagree.”

Log on to www.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/32211