LETTER: Travesty church pine tree was felled

Thank you for quoting me regarding the “wilful destruction” of a noble and healthy pine tree in Hellingly’s historic churchyard (Herald, January 30). However, the spokesman for Wealden District Council is mis-informed on a number of counts.

Firstly, the situation was never “explained to me at the time”. Workmen with hard hats, ear-defenders and chainsaws are not known for providing explanations. Secondly, the “post-felling photograph showing internal rot” appears to indicate a very small cross section of the main trunk showing the hole in the tree some 15 metres from the ground where jackdaws had nested undisturbed for decades. Thirdly, the council’s statement “we have received no complaints from other local residents” is irrelevant and in no way vindicates the action taken. Fourthly, to state “a branch from the upper crown fell into a neighbouring property” is hogwash. After recent high winds, a branch fell from the upper crown on to a footpath. I personally moved it onto the grass which surrounds the weathered headstones.

It remains a travesty that the tree was felled in such a manner. The ancient churchyard has been robbed of a magnificent sense of peacefulness provided by this majestic pine.

Roger Paine

Church Path, Hellingly