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300-year-old oak tree near Matson saved from the chop

By citizenmike  |  Posted: January 09, 2014

300-year-old oak tree is saved from the chop

Comments (8)

A 300-YEAR-OLD vintage oak tree – thought to be Gloucester’s oldest – has been saved from the chop.

The tree and 23 others at land between Winnycroft Lane and the M5, near Matson, including oak, ash and field maple trees, have been slapped with tree preservation orders meaning they cannot be cut down.

Landowners objected to the Gloucester City Council orders fearing it would block future housing development on the site.

But city councillor Andy Lewis (C, Quedgeley Severn Vale) said: “These are beautiful living things that have been around a lot longer than us and we shouldn’t just go destroying them because we want to build a few houses.”

It is unclear just how old the oldest oak really is, but it is thought to be at least 300-year-olds and may even been around during the Siege of Gloucester in 1643.

Councillor Phil McLellan (LD, Barnwood) said: “I don’t think that protecting these trees will impede any development on the site.”

Councillor Mary Smith (L, Robinswood) added: “It is ridiculous that they want to get rid of these trees that have been there for centuries.

“Who knows what these trees have witnessed over time and they should not be removed just because we want to build as many houses as possible. I am glad that they are going to be preserved.”

Tree expert Justin Hobbs, from the city council, said: “The area is filled with a significant number of mature oak and ash trees. I know of no other area in Gloucester quite like this.

“This is probably the oldest oak tree in Gloucester.”

Hundreds of other trees in the area will not be protected by the order.

Rebecca Mitchell, planning executive for housing developers Barnwood Development Securities, said: “We suspect that the tree preservation order has been made as a reaction to the identification of the land south of Winnycroft Lane as a possible allocation for residential development in the draft Gloucester City Plan.

“While we object to the tree preservation order, we do acknowledge that some of the trees could play a role in enhancing the visual amenity for residents and visitors to the area in the future.”

Landowner Caroline Ground, her husband Patrick and sons Andrew, Richard and Thomas, who together form a trust known as ‘Mrs C Ground’s Number 6 Settlement’, also objected because they felt it is was too difficult to identify the correct trees in the documents supplied with the protection order.

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  • Lecorche  |  January 11 2014, 2:02PM

    "o" is next to "i" on the keyboard,Kay. Maybe your fingers have expanded over Christmas. I know mine have. ;-)

  • Kay_Powell  |  January 10 2014, 4:50PM

    Remoinding? I've gone all Glawster! Where did that "o" come from?

    |   -22
  • Kay_Powell  |  January 10 2014, 4:49PM

    Yes, thanks for remoinding me - why were Linden Homes never forced to replace the cherry trees that they felled illegally outside Gloucester Library? The pavement has been resurfaced, so it's not going to happen now. They totally got away with removing publicly owned trees that they didn't want near their new development.

    |   -26
  • Richardburton  |  January 09 2014, 6:29PM

    It's like all they see is money signs it dosen't matter to them about the people breathing air, which the trees help with. Where do these developers live ? They have no idea about living with nature or even seeing it we all need to see birds to hear the trees not the slop slop on concrete! At least this on will be saved...and if anything happens to it the person concered should be concreted in it's place! While on the subject of trees .. when are the trees outside the library going to be replaced as it is still looking bare!

    |   1
  • FreeRadical1  |  January 09 2014, 6:22PM

    Yes, look what happened to the supposedly protected perry pear trees at Brockworth. I admit that it's in a different local authority area, but still...

  • Lecorche  |  January 09 2014, 12:23PM

    Pity that GCC weren't as "Green" when the woods in Quedgeley were obliterated about 30 years back.

  • Snappy_Happer  |  January 09 2014, 12:16PM

    A stitch in time saves considerably more than nine. Now put up a warning sign, to notify wandering tree surgeons.

  • ITDude  |  January 09 2014, 11:08AM

    unfortunately this has happened many times before. the development company will cut them down anyway and just pay the fines.