The magnificent lime tree avenue leading traffic into Tickhill from Bawtry will get the chop after cash concerns.
Tickhill Town Council approved a decision by its Doncaster counterparts to axe the entire iconic avenue of 64 trees along Bawtry Road which are nearly 130-years-old.
The controversial move was made due to fears by Doncaster Council of maintenance costs spiralling out of control.
At a Tickhill Council meeting this month, members accepted Doncaster Council’s long-standing plan.
“The decision from DMBC to start work was accepted,” the meeting’s minutes read.
“As a result this condemned what has been one of the living jewels in Tickhill’s crown for over the past century and a quarter.
“Once the avenue of huge lime trees is sawn down and removed by DMBC it will be replaced with a species of English oak that in the years to come become will potentially form an avenue as impressive as the one that currently exists.”
The line of trees has stood in position alongside Bawtry Road since it was planted by farmer Benny Brooksbank to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887.
The decision has angered a number of people in the town.
Maggie Frost, 68, told the Retford Times: “I have been coming to Tickhill for 50 years and seen the trees change with the seasons.
“It’s appalling that they will be gone – all because of money. Some things are more important than money.”
David Welton added: “The avenue is Tickhill; it’s part of the town’s personality. And it’s just going to be chopped down to save a bit of cash.
“The oak avenue will be lovely, I’m sure. But it will take decades to grow and in that time the face of the town will suffer.”
Tickhill Town Council, with the support of the local community, raised £14,000 to purchase 80 oak trees in November 2009 and, after having time to grow and mature, they are now ready to replace the 64 lime trees currently in place, Doncaster Council say.
The trees will start being planted in installments from November this year.
It is thought that leaving the current rows of lime trees, which the authority says are slowly dying, in place would lead to an annual cost of around £20,000, such is the need for maintenance.
This would include yearly inspections as well as sending out teams to remove and collect the increasing amount of dead wood from the trees.
Member for environment, Cllr Chris McGuiness, said: “We are pleased to be able to support Tickhill by helping to invest in its future.
“Nobody likes to see mature trees felled but these limes are coming to the end of their natural lives.
“By working in partnership with Tickhill Town Council, and the local community, a joint solution was found that will replace the trees which are in decline with substantial oaks and maintain the avenue of trees that welcome people into Tickhill along Bawtry Road.”
Tickhill’s MP, Caroline Flint, added:
“I totally understand concern about the Bawtry Road, near Tickhill which is a beautiful tree-lined road.
“However, I can’t fault Tickhill Town Council, who foresaw the problems of the ageing lime trees by investing in 80 new oak trees.
“These trees are now six years old and will more than replace the loss of the lime trees.
“Tickhill has a proud tradition of tree planting, dating back to the planting of the Jubilee Wood. To have new English oak trees in the parish is to be welcomed.”