‘We have not vandalised trees’ says District Council

Council denies accusation of vandalism on riverside trees EMN-161124-160302001
Council denies accusation of vandalism on riverside trees EMN-161124-160302001

East Lindsey District Council has defended a decision to carry out work on trees in a picturesque area of Horncastle after being accused of ‘vandalism’ by residents.

Several people contacted the News to complain the council had felled some trees and pruned others on the banks of the River Waring in Coronation Walk.

Jonathan Lincoln, who represents the recently formed ‘Green Town Horncastle’ group, said a lot of people were ‘angry and upset’.

There were claims ELDC had carried out the work without permission, despite the fact Coronation Walk is in a conservation area.

However, ELDC says in a statement it does not have to apply for permission and adds Horncastle Town Council were notified in advance that the work was taking place.

Mr Lincoln told the News: “There are very few trees left in Horncastle in a public place yet the district council comes along and carries out this work.

“By my reckoning, 13 of 40 trees have been felled and a lot of others hacked back. It’s nothing short of vandalism.

“The council should be held to account.”

Pensioner Ian Robert (69) said he watched the work being carried out. He said: “They were working on just about every tree and the whole landscape has changed.

”My neighbour needed permission to get rid of a tree in his garden but the council can seemingly do what it wants. There’s one rule for them - and another for everyone else.”

ELDC’s Arboricultural Officer , Robert Taylor, said: “We have felled two of the 25 mature trees at Coronation Walk. One was a severely decayed Sycamore at the eastern end of the site that was removed as it posed a danger to the public, while the other was a multi-stemmed Ash on the riverbank near to the swimming pool that was a poor specimen and would have posed a danger as it grew larger. At least 2 replacement trees will be planted over the winter.

“The remaining felling was thinning of young trees to reduce crowding and benefit those remaining as they approach maturity.

“Groups of young forest-sized trees planted together in close proximity need to be thinned out before they reach maturity to avoid them all being spoiled and potentially lost. Whilst the site is within the Conservation Area, the council does not need to issue a Conservation Area notice to itself.”