Fury after 80-year-old estate tree chopped down

Nicholas Tosh with grand daughter Olivia.
Nicholas Tosh with grand daughter Olivia.

Residents are furious after a tree believed to be 80-years-old was cut down.

The midland hawthorn was on a roundabout on the Chequerfield estate in Pontefract and is believed to have been there for longer than the roundabout itself.

Nick Tosh, who lives on Chequerfield Drive said: “I was in tears when I first saw it. It’s just a stump now. You need some nature to look at or everything just ends up being concrete.

“The tree has been there since before the estate was built.” Mr Tosh believes the tree was cut down because it would have been cheaper to get rid of it than properly maintain it.

He said: “Rather than spend money to trim them when they are big and old it’s cheaper to cut them down. It’s not the right way to go about things.

He said the tree was very important to people in the area and brought a lot a joy.

Mr Tosh, 60, said: “It was an overcast day in spring when I took my last picture. I shared it to a family WhatsApp group and they all loved it. I can’t do that anymore now.

“Cutting down the tree has taken away a little spot of sunlight for me and a piece of history.”

He said Chequerfield residents were not consulted about the decision to cut it down.

He said: “I didn’t realise before how many people were furious about it.

“It was cut down and no one asked them about it. More than anything else it’s wrong – it’s us that live here. It shouldn’t be cut down on a whim.

“It might not be a legal requirement but it’s definitely a moral requirement.”

The land is owned by WDH, which manages former council housing. WDH director of housing Mick Walsh said: “It is not our practice to remove trees unnecessarily. This particular tree has been monitored for some time now and is strongly suspected to be diseased, posing a risk to the public and motorists.

“We do intend to replace the tree in the near future.”