Here at Telford and Wrekin Council we have just heard the results of an appeal against the Council to permit the felling of a TPO’d Yew tree in a private garden based purely on the fact that the grandchildren might eat the berries that fall and the foliage.
Following various refusals to fell (no applications ever submitted to prune or manage the tree in any way)this tree it eventually ended up at the appeal stage where it was claimed that the grand parents had to contunually monitor that grand children because they could not be left alone with this tree in the garden.
The ramifications of this decision may well be far reaching, must we now fell all Yew trees in public open spaces, does this include trees within church yards- open or closed and are all Yew tree owners wide open to prosecution from the general public if their tree or parts thereof are found to be the cause of illness, distress or concern.
Some of the Yew trees we have in our respective landscapes exceed a 1000 years old and are the stuff of legend. There is a nationally recorded database of the oldest Yews we have in the country. These trees are considered by most to be one of the jewels in the crown of our native tree collection and yet we appear to be now faced with a barrage of claims or applications to fell these trees based on a single misconception.
Is there an appeals process the Council can now follow to put right this wrong?