Action to protect trees backed

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Swift action by staff at North Kesteven District Council to protect dozens of large mature trees in Ruskington has been endorsed by councillors.

Within hours of investigating reports that trees were being felled at a development site in Manor Street, officers had issued an interim Tree Preservation Order, preventing any more work being done.

Councillors have now made that order permanent and leader of the council and local ward member Coun Richard Wright says he is pleased with the outcome.

“Our officers did a great job acting so quickly, but it is unfortunate that before the order was in place one tree had already been felled, three others had been topped and others had been damaged by sawing.

“We are hopeful that we got to the damaged trees in time to give them a reasonable chance of survival.

“Some of the trees in this area are more than 100 years old and the 30-plus large mature trees are a significant feature within the grounds of Brook House on Manor Street so it was very important that we stepped in and took action quickly.”

The council sprang into action on April 1 after receiving complaints about the loss and ‘ring-barking’ of significant trees at Brook House.

In June last year, the owner of the property was given permission to change the use of the former Brown Butlin offices to eight apartments.

Within hours of receiving the complaints, the interim Tree Preservation Order was in force.

Council officers also felt that they needed to protect wildlife habitats that they felt were being threatened.

Objections to the order were made by the developer and another company, but the council also received eight supporting comments from residents and the parish council.

Coun Wright said: “As a council, we are very proud of the trees we have in our district and we will continue to work hard to protect them so that we can continue to enjoy the quality and diversity of varieties that we have.

“North Kesteven was the first council in Lincolnshire to declare a climate emergency and to aim to address this by 2030. Protecting trees and recognising their role in reducing carbon plays a significant part in this work.”