• West Hill killed oaks would have lived for another 100 years

    10th October 2013 | News | Claire
  • The two old oaks at Crantock – see post here – http://www.claire-wright.org/index.php/post/developer_kills_ancient_oaks_in_west_hill/

    … were killed, or ordered to be killed, by Hugo Headon of H & H Prestige Homes.

    Mr Colman said:  “The two oak trees were old hedgebank trees that have been growing alongside the highway for at least 150 years. They are plotted on the Ordnance Survey First edition maps (1888-1890) and must have already been significant trees for them to have been recorded as landmarks .  At this age they should be in a fully mature condition.

    “However their appearance is one of over-maturity, there is significant dead wood within the crowns of the trees also there has been a history of periodic branch removal and reduction. Some of this work will have been required because the electricity lines run through the canopy and also the proximity to the highway. The more general over-mature/veteran condition is probably due to root damage sustained at the time of the original development of the property when the driveway was cut through the bank.

    The life expectancy of the trees would have been at least another 100 years, although management works to the crown might well have resulted in a reduced size to the trees.

    Trees of this age and maturity are a unique feature of the English landscape and are massively important for maintaining the biodiversity of the locality. An oak tree of this age can be a host to over 300 species of other plants, lichens, vertebrates and invertebrates.”

    How very sad.

    Photograph:  The lovely mature oaks at Cornercroft, West Hill, four of which were similarly killed prior to submission of a planning application, earlier this year.  You can see the stump of one in the foreground.