April 19, 2018

Sheffield tree campaigners fight back against accusations of poisoned tea


Police have begun investigations into the alleged poisoning of three Sheffield tree workers by tree campaigners Dr John Unwin and wife Sue, but couple claim that these are ‘ridiculous allegations’. The incident in question dates back to October when the couple were asked to make drinks for the three tree workers. Sue comments: “It’s the most ridiculous allegation I’ve heard in my life.” She said she had made cups of tea for Amey workers on “more than one” occasion as a “delay tactic”, “We’ve always been very friendly to everyone that arrives on the street and giving them a cup…

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Confor report states high-risk imports must end within five years


Imports of high-risk plants and firewood must be brought to an end within five years, to safeguard the health of UK forests, according to a new report by industry body Confor. The UK’s elm, larch and ash trees have all been devastated by imported pests and diseases, and there are many more which threaten both timber businesses and native wildlife. Confor’s new report, available here, outlines the problems and identifies how to resolve them. One of the threats is imported plants in soil-filled pots, widely used by gardeners and landscapers. These enter the country with few checks or regulations and…

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Protected trees in Pembrokeshire illegally felled


Investigations have begun after dozens of protected trees in Freshwater East were illegally felled. An authority spokeswoman of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park said it was the worst breach she had ever encountered, stating that species of ash, sycamore and hawthorn were found abandoned in Freshwater East local nature reserve. Jane Gibson, park authority director of park direction and planning, said: “We take this type of breach very seriously and local police have already made door to door enquiries. “Not only has someone felled trees that were protected, they have carried out these unauthorised works on land that didn’t belong to…

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Police investigate violent clashes and the cause of ill workers


Council contractor Amey have temporarily ceased work in Sheffield to re-evaluate the safety of its stewards amid claims of violent clashes. Police have begun investigations after both campaigners and worked claimed they had been assaulted. Amey have previously stated that they would physically remove anyone who entered the safety zones set up around the trees that are being felled. Tree-felling has been paused in the wake of violent clashes between workers and protesters in Sheffield. Council contractor Amey said work at Meersbrook Park Road would be paused for a “few days” to re-evaluate the safety of its stewards. Police are…

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Chris Packham joins campaign to save East Cowes umbrella tree


The TV wildlife presenter Chris Packham, best known for his CBBC children’s nature series The Really Wild Show, has joined the campaign to stop the felling of the umbrella tree on the Isle of Wight. Planted in East Cowes over 100 years ago, the umbrella tree is set to be cut down due to fungus. Packham said the tree could be saved and urged the council to “listen to your community and fix it rather than fell it”. Residents campaigning to save the tree have tied dozens of ribbons around it. Packham said in a tweet: “Trees aren’t for councils, they’re…

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Rare butterfly breed could be saved by New Horizon elm tree


White-letter Hairstreak butterflies are under serious threat. This is directly linked with the substantial decline in the number of elm trees over the past 40 years. However, one of the UK’s leading tree specialists and growers, Hillier, has a solution that could save this rare butterfly from extinction. Taking its name from the letter “W” that is created by the white zig-zagged lines found on its hindwing, the White-letter Hairstreak butterfly is a vital contributor to the wider environment as a natural pollinator and has become a priority species for conservation bodies such as Butterfly Conservation. It was this organisation…

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Wellingborough council draw up new policy to manage 76,000 trees


A new policy drawn up by Wellingborough council, in discussion with Wellingborough Norse to help manage their 76,000 trees. A report prepared ahead of the meeting on Tuesday 24 January said: “The council recognises that trees have an important role in both rural and urban environments. “Appropriate tree management is needed to ensure that the council fulfils its statutory obligations and takes all reasonable steps to manage trees. “The council is aware trees are widely regarded as a positive feature, but can raise a variety of potential concerns, from being a nuisance or inconvenience to some people, to potentially causing…

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Leicestershire County Council and Woodland Trust offer free trees or bushes for hedgerows


In a bid to encourage individuals and groups to create a greener borough, Leicestershire County Council has teamed up with the Woodland Trust to provide hedge packs for free trees or bushes for hedgerows. Farmers, landowners and community groups can apply for hedge packs, which include a minimum of 100m of new hedgerow, 475 shrubs and 25 trees ideally for planting every 20m, or a woods pack, consisting of trees and shrubs to plant a woodland, no less than 0.5 ha (1.25 acres) in size. The scheme is targeted towards applicants in rural areas, to provide improved habitats for wildlife by planting…

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Abingdon and Witney College students helped plant 1,000 trees in a day


38 environmentalists and students from Abingdon and Witney College helped to plant 1,000 trees outside Ascott-under-Wychwood in West Oxfordshire. The 1,000 trees consist of oaks, willows, hawthorns and other native trees and bushes to help stop soil erosion and flooding from the river Evenlode. The project was coordinated by the Wychwood Project charity, established to help preserve the former Norman royal hunting forest. Helen Datson of the Wychwood Project said: “It was a very successful day. “The weather was kind, it was extremely muddy and we were up to our calves sloshing about but the conditions for planting were good and…

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60 trees to be felled near Bickleigh due to Ash dieback


Devon County Council will close the A369 north of Bickleigh on Sunday February 4 to remove 60 trees which will be cut down due to health and safety concerns. The work will continue on Monday February 5, when the A3072 will be closed from Bickleigh to Northdown Road, near Cadbury, from 9:30am to 3:30pm. On Tuesday February 6 the A396 will be closed south of Bickleigh, from 9:30am to 3:30pm. Signed diversions will be in place. The Council say that Ash dieback has infected several trees in the area and will need to be felled and will carry out the…

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