Climate warning

Ajema Lydiah

11 w

University of Plymouth

Climate warning

A disgrace’: more than 100 trees cut down in Plymouth despite local opposition

More than 100 mature trees have been cut down in the centre of Plymouth in a move campaigners said was reminiscent of the needless felling of thousands of trees in Sheffield. Despite widespread opposition from local people, the Conservative council in the Devon city cordoned off the trees with metal fencing, sent in security guards and in the cover of darkness on Tuesday night, destroyed more than 100 with chainsaws over a few hours. The move came within days of a highly critical report on the needless destruction of trees by Sheffield city council – known as the “chainsaw massacre”. An inquiry report found the council was guilty of “a serious and sustained failure of strategic leadership”. Some 16,000 people in Plymouth had signed a petition to save the mature trees, which line a walkway from the sea to the city and the council agreed in February to community engagement. But within hours of that ending, on Tuesday night the chainsaws moved in and within hours more than 100 trees were felled. At 1am the local campaign to save the trees, Straw, obtained an injunction that halted the felling and saved 15 trees. They vow to continue their fight. We wrote to the city council and pointed out the parallels between what was going on here and Sheffield,” said Alison White, of Straw. “But they said it was not a comparable situation. How is it not comparable? They have needlessly chopped down healthy mature trees. The people of Plymouth could not have made their views clearer that they were against this. It is a disgrace.” Luke Pollard, the Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, said: “It’s a scene of environmental devastation and utter council vandalism. I’m appalled l the actions of the Tory council. They have not listened to local people.” Plymouth city council is felling the trees as part of a £12.7m revamp of Armada Way. Part of the money is coming from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund for walking and cycling. The council said it had carried out “meaningful engagement” with local people – which began on 6 February – and on Tuesday night its leader, Conservative councillor Richard Bingley, signed off a decision notice for the felling to go ahead. The Woodland Trust said they had been involved in talks in Plymouth to find a positive way forward and were shocked at the overnight felling of the trees. Other councils are also locked in battles with local people as they attempt to allow the felling of mature trees, despite the report on Sheffield, which said the council there retreated into a bunker mentality and was out of touch with the views of significant numbers of local people. In Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, campaigners are fighting to save a historic avenue of more than 40 lime trees, which are 80 to 100 years old and covered by tree protection orders. The trees have been given a temporary stay of execution after people campaigned to stop a developer, Vistry, from chopping them down as part of the access to a dual carriageway in a major housing development on the eastern side of the town. The barrister and environmental campaigner Paul Powlesland was arrested when he climbed one of the trees in Wellingborough as the police attempted to remove people by force. Marion Turner-Hawes, who is leading the local campaign to save the trees, said there had been no transparency about how many were identified for felling or exactly wh

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  • Tabitha Kimani

    11 w

    Its shameful. They are mandated to pass the right information and actions to their students.

    • rosebellendiritu

      11 w

      That's absurd..I can only imagine the sad.

      • Mc Kaka Official🇰🇪

        11 w

        Should be ashamed!

        • Peter Kamau

          11 w

          This is quite a substantial environmental injustice.I'd not expect a learning institution to bend people's and nature's cry in such times when the world is struggling to restore the forest cover

          • George Kariuki

            11 w

            This is a disgraceful move on the part of the Plymouth Conservative council. People in the community have clearly expressed their opposition to the destruction of these mature trees, yet their voices have been completely ignored.

            • Munene Mugambi

              11 w

              University of Plymouth should be ashamed

              • Elizabeth Gathigia

                11 w

                So wrong of them to cut those trees!

                • Majdi Alnajjar

                  11 w

                  Education cannot wait! And people struggling to access education!!! Best of luck forward

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