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Campaigners’ joy as yew trees are saved

The trees outside the Havant Sorting and Delivery Office in East Street Havant on the corner of Beechworth Road were doomed, but they have now been saved.


Published in the Portsmouth News on Saturday 4th June 2011

GREEN campaigners have spoken of their relief that two historic trees are to be saved from the chop.

The Highways Agency had planned to fell two large Irish yew trees outside the Post Office sorting office in East Street, Havant, because they obscure the bus stop and are beginning to damage the pavement.

Bus passengers complained they had to stand in the road to be seen by bus drivers.

But Friends of the Earth and Havant tree warden volunteers quickly leapt into action to save the trees – which are within St Faith’s conservation area.

Ray Cobbett, from Friends of the Earth, said: ‘We’re obviously very relieved. The trees haven’t been well maintained but they are in good health.

‘A little bit of judicious trimming may be welcome here. Trimming is one thing but outright removal is quite different. There is little damage to the walking area around the tree by the roots and there are environmental solutions that can be used for that anyway.

‘The trees are healthy and they provide a welcome splash of colour.’

The trees were recommended for felling after an inspection by Hampshire County Council last year found it would be better to fell them and replace them.

Havant conservation group, the Bosmere Hundred Society, agreed and after their own review found they were of no botanical or historical significance. But emails shown to The News, reveal Jamie Gargett, Havant Borough Council’s arborist was opposed to the felling.

In a statement, Councillor Mel Kendal, in charge of environment and transport at the county council, said felling the trees was only one option considered and following discussions with the council the decision was made to retain the two trees.

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