RESIDENTS in Grange have expressed their dismay over the removal of a stand of trees on a popular coastal site.

A total of eight trees have been cut down at Yew Tree Fields, prompting a complaint that South Lakeland District Council, who carried out the operation, had proceeded without showing sufficient regard for conservation issues.

"After the loss of the adjacent wild flower meadow of Trickets Field to housing a couple of years ago it was very upsetting to see more destruction of wildlife by our district council," said Dr Michael Green, who lives close to the area.

However, an SLDC spokesperson explained that the largest of the trees had become diseased and was cut down for safety reasons, as were several other neighbouring trees.

Dr Green said the area was a pleasant section of greenery which was often used by walkers or people exercising their dogs.


He said the largest tree was a coastal pine which has grown to a height of around 15 metres and he had seen no evidence of danger from falling branches.

Dr Green added that he was alarmed that SLDC had pressed ahead "in particular at this juncture in world history where climate change and species loss have reached a critical point."

But the SLDC spokesperson explained that the tree, whose trunk largely remains standing, was diseased to the point where it needed to be made safe, and the removal of the branches had resulted in several adjoining trees also becoming unsafe as they were partially supported by the pine.

It is understood the remainder of the trees were removed to facilitate the planned expansion of an adjacent play area.

The spokesperson added that it was hoped the planting of 12 replacement saplings in the area would help to compensate for the loss of the trees.