Photo: Spare that tree

28 September 2011

Spare that tree: a High Court ruled last week that a protester can be removed from the branches of a 100-year-old beech tree today, and the tree felled.

The healthy tree, in Irton, near Scarborough, has been at the centre of a six-year legal battle, after some residents claimed that it posed a safety risk.

A protester, Mark Snow (above), scaled the tree on Tuesday of last week. Residents had gathered around the tree the previous day for a service, conducted by the Revd Laura McWilliams, the Vicar of St Martin’s, Seamer.

“This was a service to ask God to bless the community after a time that had been painful for all concerned,” Mrs McWilliams said. “The tree was not given a blessing.”

Mr Snow was replaced last Saturday by Charles Ledger, who described himself as a self-employed environmental creative artist.

The legal costs to the county council over the case are estimated to be £250,000

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