Axemen spare trees after cul-de-sac barricades go up

No access: Residents' cars in South Avenue prevent woodmen cutting down the trees
No access: Residents' cars in South Avenue prevent woodmen cutting down the trees
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Residents used cars as a barricade to stop a chainsaw massacre in their quiet cul-de-sac.

And the families who intervened to block woodmen in their tracks have won a reprieve for the copse at the bottom of the road.

Furious householders bombarded South Ribble Council with complaints after tree fellers turned up unannounced to carve a vehicle access through to farmland beyond.

“There has been no consultation,” stormed Edward Townshend, whose garden butts up to the woodland in South Avenue, New Longton.

“The first we knew was last week when one of the neighbours spotted some chaps looking at the trees and asked them what they were doing. They said they had been asked to chop them down and make an access through to the fields at the back.

“They said they would be back to do the job on Saturday morning and so, when they arrived, the end of the cul-de-sac was full of cars.

“To be fair the workmen were very understanding, they listened to what we said and then left. But the barricade has stayed there just in case they come back.”

A number of the residents contacted council officials on Monday morning and within a matter of hours a tree preservation order was in place prohibiting the removal of the copse for up to six months.

A South Ribble Council spokesperson confirmed the order was effective immediately and it was now illegal to damage or remove the trees, with a fine of up to £20,000 available to magistrates.

Objections to the tree preservation order can be lodged with the authority during the next month. The order can become permanent after six months.