Eastbourne widower will tie himself to wife’s tree to stop it being cut down

Mike Ledgerwood next to the tree that his late wife planted and which the Council allegedly say has to be cut down (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Mike Ledgerwood next to the tree that his late wife planted and which the Council allegedly say has to be cut down (Photo by Jon Rigby)

A Hampden Park widower says he will tie himself to a tree his late wife planted to prevent it from being cut down.

Mike Ledgerwood says he is angry the council sent a tree surgeon to his back garden ‘without consulting’ him and is concerned the precious pine, which has three pet cats and one dog buried beneath it, may face the chop.

The 76-year-old said, “I’m fighting against them chopping the tree down. It’s been there for 20 years. My beloved wife Susan planted it there when we came here. The birds feed off it. They have sent a tree surgeon to my home without consulting me to not only trim my tree but to chop it down.

“EBC [Eastbourne Borough Council] are still threatening to remove the tree entirely at some stage. I’m really angry, we have been here all these years and have an unblemished record as tenants. I’m at my wit’s end.”

Mr Ledgerwood, of Dallington Road, says the council is considering cutting the tree as it is threatening the subsidence of the property and because of the shade it casts on neighbours’ land.

He went on, “I told them I would tie myself to the tree until we get a resolution.

“I’m in pieces and to have the tree surgeon sent without notification to cut down the tree below which three of our cats and one dog is buried is driving me insane.”

A spokesperson from Eastbourne Borough Council told the Herald the tree has been cut back but the council will consult with Mr Ledgerwood in the future.

They said, “We understand the sentimental attachment Mr Ledgerwood has with this tree. The tree has not been removed or cut down.

“It has been cut back this week to avoid any further damage to the property and we will consult with him on how this will be managed in the long-term.”