Azara Blog: The only oak tree on Midsummer Common looks set to be cut down

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Date published: 2011/01/13

The Cambridge News says:

Residents fighting to save an oak tree from the chop seem to have lost their battle.

Cambridge City Council is pushing ahead with plans to remove the tree from Midsummer Common, insisting there has already been full public consultation about the move.

The council is replanting on the ancient common, and the oak, close to the River Cam, was scheduled to be axed before Christmas.

Several local residents mounted a campaign to save it, and the tree has been festooned with messages, urging the council not to get rid of it.

But Cllr Rod Cantrill, executive councillor for arts and recreation, said there had been no change in the council's stance.

He said: "I appreciate very much that people are passionate about trees - I am too.

"There has been extensive public consultation about the tree programme on Midsummer Common, the most thorough I've ever witnessed while I've been on the council. There was a workshop last July, followed by a consultation period in August, and then discussion at the west central area committee in September.

"At no stage in that process did we get any negative views in relation to this oak tree. Were we to go back on things, and not remove the tree, it would make a mockery of the consultation process.

"We want to create a more defined green band along by the river, and the tree in question will never become a mature oak."

Well this tree "will never become a mature oak" because Cantrill is about to allow it to be destroyed.

It is unfortunate that the Cambridge City Tree Department seems to be run by people who are so keen to destroy trees (and replace some of them with species which just happen to be "flavour of the month").

It is equally unfortunate the the Lib Dems have set up the tree procedure so that one person, Cantrill, gets to make all the ultimate decisions. He is just a banker, and he has never indicated any sort of wisdom or "passion" about trees.

There is no reason to cut down this tree (or most of the other trees the council has destroyed the last few years, or wants to destroy now) other than prejudice.

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