All efforts to save the beautiful monkey puzzle tree at Brockhole Visitor Centre failed yesterday, when it was felled without notice - ostensibly on health and safety grounds, but more likely to prevent protestors gathering at the site.
I'm really sad about this. Over two hundred people had signed an online petition to keep the tree; a recent survey by the Lake District National Park Authority showed that only one out of 1000 people asked was in favour of the felling; and local people in general were horrified at the idea.
And yet the LDNPA has disregarded the feelings and wishes of all of the above and cut the tree down, on the dubious grounds that it 'wasn't in the original plans for the gardens' at the house. Well, nor was the zip-wire tree-top trek they've just opened, but I can't see them getting rid of that any time soon.
It's a crying shame, and leaves me nervous about the fall-out. The LDNPA are the local planning authority for all properties within the National Park, and up to now they've been quite severe about refusing to let mature trees be chopped down on a whim. But how can they refuse permission for other land owners when they've gone ahead, in the face of strong local opposition, themselves? It doesn't bode well for the local landscape.
I've removed the link to the online petition as there's no longer any need for it. Sadly.