Julie Mciver, of Furness Close near Dinnington Cemetery, looked out of her window one morning and was shocked to see two men chopping down trees just metres away from her home.
She said she was met with ‘abuse’ when she attempted to confront the men, who told her they were commissioned by Dinnington Town Council and authorised to remove the trees.
Said Julie: “In the process of cutting down the trees, I saw one of the men remove a birds nest and, being concerned about nesting season, I approached him and asked him to stop.”
“I was met with a barage of abuse. He continued to fell the whole tree and two others.”
“I contacted the local council who informed me they were legally within their rights to remove the trees and said they had been advised that this is the best time of year to prune and fell some of the trees.”
“I posed the question that surely it is not advisable to do this in spring, as there is a real threat to nesting birds.”
“All this seemed to fall on deaf ears. They also informed me that they had received complaints about the trees from people in the area, but I have no knowledge of this.”
“As well as the trees attracting bird life to the cemetery, they also afforded me and my family a veil of privacy from the cemetery and people visiting the graves of loved ones.”
Ralph McIver, chairman of Dinnington Town Council, said: “The order to prune trees within the curtilage of Park Avenue Cemetery, which is on Town Council land, was agreed at a Town Council meeting following a complaint.”
“The trees were last pruned some 3 years ago. Once on site, the Tree Surgeon confirmed that two trees needed removing and one large tree was diseased, and we gave approval for them to be removed and the remainder of trees across our Cemetery to be pruned.”
“The tree surgeon we used is experienced and well respected in the Borough. He is always courteous and polite and the company fully understand the legal and moral implications of maintaining trees and woodland, and the right to preserve wildlife.”
“They confirmed that no nesting was taking place and the trees were okay to be removed.”
“The Town Council is proud of its Park Avenue Cemetery. The trees lie within the boundary of the Cemetery but within a section that is separated from the gravestones, in an area we maintain as a ‘natural’ environment. We would not look to desecrate this environment, merely look after the condition and keep it healthy and safe,” he added.