York & North Yorkshire

Protester stops felling of 100-year-old tree at Irton

A protester has prevented a 100-year-old tree from being felled in a North Yorkshire village.

The man climbed the tree on Tuesday morning, preventing contractors from proceeding with work to remove it.

The beech tree, at Irton near Scarborough, has been at the centre of a five-year legal wrangle that has cost North Yorkshire County Council £250,000.

The council said it would seek legal advice before taking further action.

The initial request to fell the 60ft (18m) tree came from a resident in 2006 after a claim its roots were damaging the drains and a high boundary wall of a nearby property.

Local residents managed to persuade the borough council to place a preservation order on it.

Residents 'support'

After a legal battle, the highways authority, North Yorkshire County Council, obtained a court order to fell it.

Contractors were due to begin work to remove the tree on Tuesday morning when the protester, whose name has not been revealed, climbed up it.

He said it seemed the "obvious" thing to do and he was willing to remain in the tree "for as long as it takes" to save it.

"There are plenty of people willing to take my place up here and I've had loads of support from local residents with sandwiches being winched up," he added.

Officials from North Yorkshire County Council told villagers that the authority would take no further action on Tuesday.

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