Hundreds sign petition to save trees in historic city area from the chop
PUBLISHED: 06:30 13 October 2020 | UPDATED: 07:30 13 October 2020
A petition calling for two trees in a historic part of Norwich city centre to be saved from the chop has been signed by more than 1,800 people.
As part of the £2.5m revamp of the Tombland area of the city, Norfolk County Council has applied for permission to remove two lime trees which are believed to have stood in the city for more than 40 years.
While the council says removing the trees will improve lighting and public safety, the bid has left a sour taste in the mouths of the Cathedral, Magdalen and St Augustines Forum, a residents’ group with represents people living in the surrounding areas.
The group has launched a petition against the removal of a trees which in the space of just a week has been signed almost 2,000 times and counting.
Gail Mayhew, of CMSA, said: “The response we have had to the petition has been truly staggering - when I saw just how many people had signed it already I couldn’t believe it.
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“I just don’t see why in these times of climate change that perfectly healthy trees should be removed. Lime trees in particular are very good at absorbing carbon dioxide so it seems very short sighted to remove them.”
Lesley Grahame, Green Party city councillor who is backing the petition, said: “The city council’s policy on removing trees is to only do it if they are dead, diseased or dying - being inconvenient doesn’t come into it.
“Trees also have amenity value and generally make places nicer for people in general - not to mention the animals that use them as habitat.”
Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “The current works in Tombland aim to improve facilities for those walking, cycling and using public transport in the area, as well as enhancing the public space to support long-term economic recovery.
“Two trees are planned for removal as part of the second phase of the project, which includes the replanting of five new trees. Their removal will improve lighting and public safety as well as enabling the replanting of additional species to protect against the future risk of disease.
One of the trees in question is in close proximity to a listed building so its removal will protect the building from future damage, whilst also creating a clear route through the area.”
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