Children's goodbye to chopped trees

ANGLIAN water has today been criticised for cutting down six oak trees school children used to study wildlife.

ANGLIAN water has today been criticised for cutting down six oak trees school children used to study wildlife.

Youngsters at Ipswich's Beacon Hill School watched on as trees were chopped down at a site at Stone Lodge Lane West as they played in the playground.

The trees, also close to St Marks Primary School and Chantry High School, were taken down without teachers and residents in the area being told why.

Val Fisk, teaching assistant at Beacon Hill, said: “The children here are aware of ecological issues and they've put up boxes for the birds and we have school gardening time.

“Several birds were nesting in these trees including woodpeckers as well as several other species and this area was a thriving habitat all year round.

“The children would watch the squirrels and the green woodpecker that had lived there for many years.

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“When we went out to play the children saw them being chopped down and they said 'Oh the trees have gone, what about the birds?'. It seems an insensitive course of action at this delicate time of year for wildlife.”

A spokesperson for Anglian Water said: “We have removed some trees and cut back others which were encroaching on the path and highway but we've planted 15 replacement oaks in their place.

“We own the land with a water tower on it and as part of our management of that land we cut down the trees.

“The contractors that we used would be aware of anything like nests and would take appropriate action if any were found; they would also have liaised with local authorities over any possible preservation orders on the site.”

Robert Hall, Ipswich Borough councillor for Sprites Ward said: “I think it's rather disappointing that mature oak trees should be cut down unless they are unsafe or diseased, particularly at this time of the year when it's the bird nesting season.

“Wildlife seems to be under threat from all angles and it's a real shame that we've lost them.”

Mr Hall said that he has asked Ipswich Borough Council to make a tree preservation order on the remaining trees at Stone Lodge Lane West and any other site owned by Anglian Water.

N Should Ipswich's trees be better protected? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail