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Nesting pigeons halt tree felling

PUBLISHED: 19:38 08 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:22 30 June 2010

The unsafe conifer trees in Gorelston, where work has been cut short because of pigeon nests

The unsafe conifer trees in Gorelston, where work has been cut short because of pigeon nests

WORK on felling unsafe conifer trees has been cut short because of pigeons nesting in the branches.

Borough council workmen abandoned the work to prevent the 30ft high conifers falling after chopping down three of them.

The tree stumps left by the work in Gorleston

WORK on felling unsafe conifer trees has been cut short because of pigeons nesting in the branches.

Borough council workmen abandoned the work to prevent the 30ft high conifers falling after chopping down three of them.

The trees overlook homes in Oriel Avenue and St John's Avenue, Gorleston and the residents with homes close-by are fuming. They fear the cutting already done has weakened the trees even more, further increasing the risk of them toppling.

Martin Redmond of Oriel Avenue called the council because he was worried about the safety of his elderly neighbour Arthur Scriven, whose home is close to the trees on council land behind the houses in the two streets.

He said the council initially denied responsibility for cutting the trees, but workmen visited the garden at the end of last summer and decided to do the work themselves.

However, Mr Redmond said a week into the work, a neighbour warned the tree-cutters they could be breaking the law and they literally downed tools and left halfway through the day, leaving half the trees still standing and exposed to high winds.

An angry Mr Redmond said: “Last year we had lots of high winds and the trees were swaying to and fro and I thought if they come down they could damage property and endanger human life.”

The bingo club manager said the conifers had been there since he moved into Oriel Avenue 25 years ago, but had steadily grown over the years because they were not being cut back regularly.

And he added: “It is a joke for birds in nests to come ahead of human safety and property safety. There has got to be something wrong there.”

The trees also overlook the back garden of Robert Nicholas' St John's Avenue home and he shared Mr Redmond's concerns.

He said: “Well, they are dangerous. When it gets windy and they start blowing over, I stand by the sink waiting for them to come down.”

He could not understand the council's concerns about preserving the nests as the pigeons are not there the whole time and said he had called the council eight or nine times about falling branches.

But one resident with a home overlooked by the trees did not agree the conifers posed a risk to his safety.

David Warren, 65, of Oriel Avenue, said: “The conifer tree's roots go down as far as its branches go up. It is very sturdy.”

However, a borough council spokesman said: “Part of the conifer hedge was removed, but the work was stopped because pigeons were nesting and there is legislation regarding the cutting of trees when birds are nesting and pigeons nest all year round.

“Health and safety risk assessments were carried out and it was decided there was no immediate risk to the public and as such the legislation had to be followed with regard to the risk to the public.”


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