A group of Burton Green residents, including several parish councillors are fighting to save a 200-year-old oak tree from being felled as part of HS2 related construction.
A half dozen people decorated the tree Sunday with banners saying 'Keep Burton Green' and 'Stop the Axe This 200 + years oak will not go.'
Burton Green Parish Councillor Ray Watkin said: “We've done a lot of work trying to save it. I told HS2 on Friday we will make every effort to resist them from felling that tree, and if it means I have to climb the tree, then I will.”
The tree, located on Red Lane, was meant to be felled today (Monday) but it was stopped after a meeting on Friday. The councillors managed to delay the tree from being felled until Wednesday while they negotiated with HS2, the British Pipeline Agency and the county council.
A fuel pipeline needs to be diverted within a field near the tree, and site access needs to be constructed. The tree is on the sight line for vehicles to enter and leave the construction site.
The tree is part of a hedge, and the hedge has to be cut down as part of the pipeline diversion and the construction of the new Burton Green village hall. The current village hall is set to be demolished as part of the HS2 construction.
Cllr Watkin said the instructions for the contractors can be amended to include moving the sight line allowing for the tree to be saved. He said they're hopeful the situation will be resolved during another meeting set for this afternoon (Monday).
He added: “HS2 is currently destroying trees, but the Oak is a feature of our rural environment and the thought of felling a 200-year-old tree just seems outrageous.”
The deputy chair of the Burton Green Parish Council, Alan Marshall, sent out an email over the weekend to village residents informing them about what could happen to the oak tree.
The email showed residents how they could make their objections known by phoning the HS2 helpline on 08081 434 434 or by sending them email on HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk