Whalley Range tree protesters turn contractors away

Demonstrators opposing a council decision to chop down trees in a suburb of Manchester have prevented contractors from starting work.

A group of protesters stood under some of the 18 trees earmarked for felling in Whalley Range by Manchester City Council.

Contractors turned back when they were unable to persuade the group to move away from the mature trees.

The council says the trees are "in decline" and need replacing.

'Wholesale massacre'

Protester Brendan O'Sullivan said: "I've become increasingly angry at what I see as worse than vandalism towards the trees in our area.

"There's no good reason to be cutting down these beautiful trees and it's just a wholesale massacre of what amounts to a small forest in Whalley Range."

Councillor Paul Andrews, the council's executive member for Neighbourhood Services, said: "Many of the trees in Whalley Range are over 80 years old and are in decline.

"We are working closely with residents to implement a replacement programme which will span over the next 20 years so we don't have a situation where there are no mature trees in the area.

"This year we are planning to remove 18 old trees and plant 38 new ones.

"There is a whole range of tree varieties available to us now that weren't around 80 year ago so the new trees will be much more suitable for residential areas."

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