A DRAMATIC protest was staged at a Chester city centre square after two residents tied themselves to a tree to save it from being chopped down.
Donna Alcock, 45, and Elizabeth Reid, 67, of Charlotte Court, Chester, took action when they saw tree surgeons sawing down silver birch trees in the pedestrianised courtyard outside their homes.
The women used what they had close to hand to attach themselves to the last remaining tree – which happened to be a dressing gown rope – in a bid to save it.
“Charlotte Court is known for its trees and bushes and to take these down is disgusting,” said Donna, who has lived there for 22 years.
“I often sit in the window and watch the lovely birds on the branches and now they have lopped down three of the four trees they have gone away.
“We had to do something and the only way we knew how to stop them was to tie ourselves to them, otherwise all four of the trees would have been cut down.”
Muir Housing, who manage the site, said the works had formed part of their ground maintenance programme.
Contractors however were forced to halt works when Ms Alcock and Ms Reid made their dramatic protests and refused to move.
Sam Scott, director of housing services of Muir Group Housing Association, said: “We are very sorry to hear that two of our residents were not happy about some tree management work being carried out at one of our housing schemes in Chester.
“Following previous complaints from a number of residents of this scheme the association sought advice about the most appropriate course of action to take.
“The advice we received involved the removal of a number of small silver birch trees.
“As soon as concerns were raised we immediately instructed our contractors to stop work.”
Ms Reid was one of the first residents in Charlotte Court and brought up her family in the pretty city centre square.
“I love the trees – I can see them out of my lounge window – there is so much wildlife and so many birds around here and it’s horrible that they would take them away so easily,” she said.
“I’m mortified this could even be allowed to happen.”
The two residents said they were ‘horrified’ when the trees were cut and have vowed to continue their protest if the tree surgeons return.
A spokesman for Muir Housing said: “We are currently investigating what the issues are and will be speaking to our residents again in due course.”