Protesters’ human barrier stops council tree cutters Published in the Derbyshire Times 6 March 2014
Protesters formed a human barrier on a wood shredder in an attempt to stop council workmen cutting the tops off a line of trees.
The trees on Slayley View Road, Barlborough, had been earmarked for a reduction by Bolsover District Council but residents were determined to preserve the leylandii trees amidst claims they provide vital privacy between nearby properties.
Campaigner Bridget Ingle, of Slayley View Road, said: “The lie of the land falls away with higher properties on one side of the road looking down through the windows of properties on the other lower side but the height of the trees provides privacy. Without the trees pedestrians can also see into people’s homes from the pavement.
“There has been no consultation about this and as soon as we saw workmen starting to chop the tops off the trees we positioned ourselves on the wood chipper to save the trees.”
Workmen had begun cutting about 5ft off the top of the line of trees from a point that was about eight foot off the ground when the protestors stepped in.
Ms Ingle also told how council leader Eion Watts had visited the site during the protest on Wednesday morning, March 5, in an effort to get the protesters to move so work could continue. But the protesters continued to prevent the tree cutting and a council officer was called out to discuss the situation with the residents.
The officer explained the council has a responsibility to maintain the grass and the hedge and it needs to keep the trees cut to a certain height so workmen can continue to safely maintain them without putting themselves at risk.
A Boslover District Council spokesman said: “The council received a request to prune an overgrown high hedge established within the boundary of council maintained land.
“The hedge is approximately 20 feet high and substantially higher than neighbouring fence boundaries. “Due to the proximity of neighbouring boundaries and property, the council considered this to present a risk. “It was also felt to be reducing amenity value of the local area due to its unkempt appearance.
“The high hedge line is therefore being reduced to a manageable height of 8 feet, to just above neighbouring property boundary fences; further to which, this will be included within the council’s annual hedge maintenance program to establish a more formal hedge and dense maintained feature more in keeping with the local urban amenity value.
“The council, prior to recommencing works, will be writing to neighbouring properties which directly bound the hedge line to explain its position and reason for pruning and planned maintenance.”
Watsy clearly isn’t satisfied with having hundreds of trees removed from the country park…