Monday, March 5, 2012

Angry residents fight to save threatened tree

ST ANDREW'S residents are "horrified" by council plans to chop down a tree in their park.

Bristol City Council put notices up last Tuesday saying that three trees in St Andrew's Park would have to come down due to fungus problems – two cherry trees and a plum.

But local people are not convinced and have branded the move to cut one particular tree as "vandalism" that must be stopped.

Martin Weitz a television producer and writer from Leopold Road lives opposite the park and is calling for the council to change its mind.

He said: "The council is going to cut down one of the most fantastic trees in the park.

"All the residents are hopping mad, we're just trying to stop them.

"They say it's got a fungus but I've spoke to experts and they say it's got 20 years left before they need to chop it down.

"This tree is in perfect health. It's in no danger of falling down, which is presumably what they're worried about. It's absolutely outrageous."

Mr Weitz is a member of the Friends of St Andrew's Park committee, who also oppose the impending axing of the trees.

When he told other members about the threat to the tree they were "appalled".

He said: "They are absolutely horrified. We've got to do something to stop this vandalism."

Mr Weitz said the council is quick enough to cut things down but claims that when the committee wants something positive done for the park the authority drags its heels.

He said: "To add insult to injury they only put the sign up on Tuesday but there were chainsaws in the park on Friday, They want to cut it down in Monday.

"What kind of public consultation is that?

"We've managed to stop them for now but they still want to cut it down.

"It's beautiful and it prevents pollution.

"We've been calling for toilets that aren't blocked and for better gates and they don't do anything. How can they destroy things so quickly?"

Following complaints from the public the council has agreed to a temporary reprieve for the tree.

Council spokesman Peter Wood said: "An officer identified three tress to be removed as part of a programme of work because of varying fungal infestations.

"We have been consulting with the local park group but have delayed the work proposed for six weeks to allow further consultation."

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