Wed Jul 08, 2020 11:12 am
The protected tree is thought to have been planted when the cemetery opened in 1847
Works to chop down a 170-year-old protected Yew Tree in Coventry’s London Road cemetery have been described as “devastating” by local campaigners.
The tree is thought to be an original from the cemetery’s arboretum that has stood the test of time since it was erected by English gardener, architect and MP Joseph Paxton in 1847.
However the city council said it is now investigating after photos emerged of the historic tree cut back, with campaigners saying the stump has now also been completely removed.
The council refused a bid to cut it down in 2014 and placed a Tree Protection Order on it.
The tree has been branded as “irreplaceable” and an important part of Coventry’s heritage.
The Yew Tree on the left before it was cut (Image: Derek Robinson)
Ann Wilson, a Coventry tree warden, said: “It was an old tree, a valuable and significant tree and it has just disappeared. It is really very sad. It was cut down to virtually a stump and now we understand that has gone too. It cannot be replaced. We have already lost too many trees there due to the current restoration plans.”
Cllr Roger Bailey added: “There is a big upset because of this. It has historical significance being part of the original arboretum. It is part of our heritage and it is historically important. In this day and age when we are trying to save trees and keep our heritage it does not seem right. People are devastated by what has happened.”
Coventry City Council said it is investigating.
A council spokesman said: “Coventry City Council are aware of the alleged unauthorised works/felling of a Yew Tree within the grounds of Paxton Lodge and the matter is currently under investigation.”
The property owner declined to comment.