Century-old trees protected in Ruskington after contractors stopped from hacking them down

The large, substantial trees that were lost before NKDC officers could step in at the site in Ruskington.
The large, substantial trees that were lost before NKDC officers could step in at the site in Ruskington.

Speedy intervention by North Kesteven District Council has protected dozens of large mature trees from harm.

Within hours of investigating reports that trees were being felled at Manor Street in Ruskington, North Kesteven’s tree officers instigated an interim Tree Preservation Order (TPO).

The former Brown Butlin offices at 42 Manor Street, Ruskington.

The former Brown Butlin offices at 42 Manor Street, Ruskington.

Before the Order could be put in place to stop the works, one tree had been felled, three others topped and a large number of the others damaged by sawing. The expectation is that the damaged trees have been rescued, just in time to enable a reasonable chance of survival.

Varying in age, with the oldest estimated to be more than 100 years old, the 30-plus large mature trees are a significant feature within the grounds of Brook House on Manor Street, the former Brown Butlin offices. They include sycamore, horse chestnut, cherry, ash, pine and lime trees.

Andrew McDonough, Director of Economy and Place at NKDC, said: “As it was felt the trees were at risk, with their loss likely to have a very significant and detrimental impact on the amenity of the area, we believe that the Order is necessary to safeguard local amenity and prevent the trees from suffering further. They all appeared to have been in good health.

“Had officers not arrived when they did, in response to public concerns, the damage could have been more extensive than it was, and could have led to all of the trees being lost.”

The council decided it had to act immediately to protect the trees, and the site’s amenity value, from further harm.

The order protects all trees at 42 Manor Street and any further works that take place with the TPO in place will amount to a criminal offence, carrying a penalty of significant fines.

As detailed on the notice sent to affected parties and neighbours, objections to the Order can be made in writing to the council before April 29. If no objections are received, the TPO will be formally confirmed. If there are, the Planning Committee will decide upon the TPO in due course.

Last June, the owner of the property was given permission by NKDC to change the use of the former offices to eight residential apartments.