York & North Yorkshire

Irton tree removed after five-year legal row

A 100-year-old beech tree has been felled after a five-year legal row.

A judge ordered North Yorkshire County Council in August to remove the tree at Irton near Scarborough, over fears it posed a risk to property.

However, protesters climbed it in a battle to save it, prompting the authority to get an injunction to remove them.

Council contractors felled the tree after the final protester agreed to come down.

In a statement, the Conservative-controlled authority said: "[The council] recognises that some residents of Irton oppose the felling of the tree.

"However, it is obliged to comply with the terms of the court order and has no choice but to remove the tree."

A resident complained the tree's roots were damaging the drains and a boundary wall of a nearby property, in 2006.

The resulting legal battle has cost the authority more than £225,000.

The first protester, Mark Snow, climbed the tree on 20 September.

Mr Snow spent four nights there before being replaced by four other protesters.

The last protester, a 17-year-old girl, climbed down from the tree on Tuesday morning.

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