PEOPLE in Chippenham have called for ‘no more chainsaw massacres’ after a mature silver birch tree was cut down.

Pete Bishop said he and his Esmead neighbours were stunned to discover it was being felled.

Local councillor Nick Murry, who is investigating the matter, said he could not see any justification for the healthy tree to be cut down.

This Is Wiltshire: The stump was all that was left

“I was astonished when I saw this mature tree being chopped down, I know many other neighbours were too,” Mr Bishop said.

“Surely everyone knows about climate change and the benefits that trees bring to our wellbeing, if they don’t they must be living on another planet.

“Perhaps whoever commissioned this destruction needs a crash course on environmental management. Please, lets have no more chainsaw massacres.”

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Cllr Murry added: “Trees like this bring a range of important benefits in terms of local landscape, wildlife, shading and mitigating air pollution.

“Felling this tree will not resolve any uneven pavement issues – the roots will remain for a long time – and in any case would be a totally disproportionate response if this was the case.

“This raises more questions about Wiltshire Council’s street trees policy, which I will be investigating further.”

According to Mr Bishop, when neighbours spoke with the tree surgeons involved, they said they had been given a list of trees on Monkton Park to fell including two more in Sadlers Mead.

He added there are other ways to correct “lumpy pathways” than cutting down trees.

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Cabinet for transport, Dr Mark McClelland said: “We are committed to taking action to improve the environment.

“A number of trees on the Monkton Park estate have required maintenance.

“Unfortunately, three trees required removal, one of which was a mature Silver Birch.

“While this tree was healthy, it had grown to a size where its roots were damaging the footway to a degree that it constituted a hazard.

“The other two trees had severe fungal infections meaning that they were at the end of their life.”

He added: “Whenever we decide to remove trees it is never done lightly and all other options are explored before we make that decision.

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“In addition to the removal of these trees, we have carried out a program of pruning and crown lifting on the remaining trees. We will be planting replacement trees on the estate, for those that have been removed.”