York & North Yorkshire

Mark Snow urged to abandon Yorkshire tree protest

A protester is being urged to come down from a tree which is set to be felled.

Mark Snow is occupying the 100-year-old beech tree near Scarborough, North Yorkshire, after it was faced with the chop on Tuesday.

North Yorkshire County Council decided the tree should be removed because its roots were damaging a drain.

Gareth Dadd, the council's spokesman on highways, said Mr Snow had a "moral responsibility" to come down to save the council from further legal costs.

The council obtained a court order to fell the tree in Irton after a request was made in 2006 by a resident claiming the roots were damaging the drains and a high boundary wall of a nearby property.

The five-year battle has cost the authority an estimated £225,000 in legal fees.

Contractors were due to remove the tree on Tuesday morning when Mr Snow, a joiner from Scarborough, climbed up it.

He has spent two nights camped in the tree with residents sending food and drink up using a rope and carrier bag.

Mr Snow said: "There is a lot of support in Irton for this tree.

"I'm just going to stay up here because I think most of the people in the county would quite happily pay a few pence each to keep this tree. There's only one household in the entire county that wants to fell this tree."

Mr Dadd said: "I think Mark ought to have a moral responsibility now to climb off that branch and therefore prevent further costs falling upon the taxpayers of North Yorkshire.

"We've got a legal obligation to fell it... it's got to happen, we've got to do it.

"I think Scarborough Borough Council, ourselves, the homeowners and the residents - we've all played a part in this and it's very very sad and actually very frustrating that the costs have risen as they have."

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

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