Council’s 'ludicrous' plan to chop down apple trees as falling fruit 'may be trip hazard'

·4-min read
Westwood Parish Council want to cut down four of Westwood Park’s apple trees because the fruit which falls to the ground is a - ''tripping hazard''. Westwood, Wiltshire. 20 December 2021.  See SWNS story SWBRapples. Residents say a council has launched ''ludicrous'' plans to chop down four apple trees - because the fruit which falls to the ground is a - ''TRIPPING hazard''.  The large trees have sat in the heart of Westwood in Wiltshire for over 30 years and the apples are eaten by locals who also use them to make cider and jam. But four of the five trees have now been earmarked to be cut down after the fallen fruit was deemed a health and safety risk. Nearly 200 people have signed a petition against the proposals with organisers saying the trees face the chop because the fruit was deemed a tripping risk.
Westwood Parish Council in Wiltshire want to cut down four apple trees in the village. (SWNS)

Villagers say their local council plans to chop down apple trees because the falling fruit is a tripping hazard.

Residents of Westwood, Wiltshire, claim the proposal to fell four apple trees in a park is “ludicrous”.

The large trees have been there for more than 30 years and the apples are eaten by locals, who also use them to make cider and jam.

But four of the five trees, which line a footpath, have now been earmarked to be cut down.

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Almost 200 people have signed a petition against the proposals.

Villager David McQueen, 56, who launched the petition last month, condemned the plans to destroy the four mature apple trees, calling it "eco-vandalism".

He said: “They are fantastic trees and so far over 150 people have signed my petition to save them, which is amazing considering the size of the village.

Westwood Parish Council want to cut down four of Westwood Park’s apple trees because the fruit which falls to the ground is a - ''tripping hazard''. Westwood, Wiltshire. 20 December 2021.  See SWNS story SWBRapples. Residents say a council has launched ''ludicrous'' plans to chop down four apple trees - because the fruit which falls to the ground is a - ''TRIPPING hazard''.  The large trees have sat in the heart of Westwood in Wiltshire for over 30 years and the apples are eaten by locals who also use them to make cider and jam. But four of the five trees have now been earmarked to be cut down after the fallen fruit was deemed a health and safety risk. Nearly 200 people have signed a petition against the proposals with organisers saying the trees face the chop because the fruit was deemed a tripping risk.
Residents say the council wants to chop down the trees because the apples are a 'tripping hazard'. (SWNS)
Westwood Parish Council want to cut down four of Westwood Park’s apple trees because the fruit which falls to the ground is a - ''tripping hazard''. Westwood, Wiltshire. 20 December 2021.  See SWNS story SWBRapples. Residents say a council has launched ''ludicrous'' plans to chop down four apple trees - because the fruit which falls to the ground is a - ''TRIPPING hazard''.  The large trees have sat in the heart of Westwood in Wiltshire for over 30 years and the apples are eaten by locals who also use them to make cider and jam. But four of the five trees have now been earmarked to be cut down after the fallen fruit was deemed a health and safety risk. Nearly 200 people have signed a petition against the proposals with organisers saying the trees face the chop because the fruit was deemed a tripping risk.
Apples on the ground in Westwood Park in Wiltshire. (SWNS)

"This is the last chance to save these beautiful trees that are a resource for the children and residents of the village, for birds and insects and which provide habitat for wildlife.

“Cutting them down would be an act of eco-vandalism. Westwood Parish Council want to cut down four of Westwood Park’s apple trees.

“They have argued the apples are a tripping hazard, but this seems a massive overreaction to chop down healthy trees because of a few apples on the path.

“These are located close to the swings - one is very large, but all are mature and produce a crop of apples each year.

“Some of these apples are edible, some are used by residents for making jam and cider, all are a source of food for birds and insects.”

One petitioner, Polly, wrote: "In a world where we need to be thinking about planting more trees and reducing emissions, the reasoning behind cutting down these trees that are causing no harm seems ludicrous."

Westwood Parish Council want to cut down four of Westwood Park’s apple trees because the fruit which falls to the ground is a - ''tripping hazard''. Westwood, Wiltshire. 20 December 2021.  See SWNS story SWBRapples. Residents say a council has launched ''ludicrous'' plans to chop down four apple trees - because the fruit which falls to the ground is a - ''TRIPPING hazard''.  The large trees have sat in the heart of Westwood in Wiltshire for over 30 years and the apples are eaten by locals who also use them to make cider and jam. But four of the five trees have now been earmarked to be cut down after the fallen fruit was deemed a health and safety risk. Nearly 200 people have signed a petition against the proposals with organisers saying the trees face the chop because the fruit was deemed a tripping risk.
Residents of Westwood in Wiltshire are angry at plans to chop down its apple trees. (SWNS)

Diana Lindsey commented: "These trees were planted by the parish council over 30 years ago for the people of Westwood to gather the fruit and for the wildlife to also benefit.

“It is ridiculous to chop them down on the pathetic excuse that someone might trip over the fallen apples.

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“People can look where they are going and the trees can be left to continue to help protect the planet."

Roger Coleman, clerk of Westwood Parish Council, said that after a "lengthy discussion" at their meeting on 6 December it has invited a tree surgeon to take action "in respect" of a Scots pine close to the play area and the four apple trees in the park.

Westwood Parish Council want to cut down four of Westwood Park’s apple trees because the fruit which falls to the ground is a - ''tripping hazard''. Westwood, Wiltshire. 20 December 2021.  See SWNS story SWBRapples. Residents say a council has launched ''ludicrous'' plans to chop down four apple trees - because the fruit which falls to the ground is a - ''TRIPPING hazard''.  The large trees have sat in the heart of Westwood in Wiltshire for over 30 years and the apples are eaten by locals who also use them to make cider and jam. But four of the five trees have now been earmarked to be cut down after the fallen fruit was deemed a health and safety risk. Nearly 200 people have signed a petition against the proposals with organisers saying the trees face the chop because the fruit was deemed a tripping risk.
The council plans to chop down four apple trees in Westwood Park in Wiltshire. (SWNS)

The council say the trees were to be the subject of work following a survey.

But following the outcry from villagers the decision has now been put back until the next parish council meeting on 10 January.

In a statement provided to Yahoo News UK, Westwood Parish Council said: “The trees in question are neglected formerly ornamental trees that did not, originally, drop fruit but have, over time, reverted to their root stock. 

“As a result, they now produce small apples that fall over the main path through the park and are largely left to rot over some months.

“The parish council considered it appropriate to replace the neglected trees with ornamental trees more suited to the location next to the path. However, as soon as objections started arriving the parish councillors put any work on hold and will be considering the matter further at a subsequent meeting.”

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