The skyline of a picturesque Rutland village will lose two of its distinct landmarks after planning officers approved the felling of two giant cedar trees.
The trees, which are located in the churchyard of St Nicholas Church, Pilton, face the axe after Rutland County Council approved the application by Peterborough Diocese, the religious body which owns the land where the trees stand.
Pilton resident Doug Reid, 55, of Wing Lane, said: “These beautiful trees have been a part of the village landscape for years but Peterborough Diocese has deemed the trees to be a danger to life.
“The trees are living and healthy and are at least 100 years old. It’s a shame – the report by the arboricultural consultant stated that the trees should either be trimmed or felled. If there is the option to trim them and keep them, then why wasn’t this taken? Surely if there’s nothing wrong with them, then this is the best course of action.”
Rector Pippa Madgwick of St Nicholas Church said: “I have only been in my role here for nine months, but in the time prior to my appointment there were three instances where falling branches caused significant damage. One time resulted in damage to the stonework to the side of the church, while another incident saw a headstone in the graveyard damaged.
“I’m a botanist and love trees, but the reality is that we have a real concern that if somebody is beneath the trees the next time the branches fall, then the consequences could be tragic.
“I am desperately sorry that the trees have to go, but in this instance it really is a necessary evil.”
The iconic trees now face the axe, but part of the planning application includes the caveat that they must be replaced with new trees.
Doug Reid said: “Pilton’s mighty cedars will soon replaced by alternative trees which will never reach the stature of those which will be axed.
“I’d urge anyone wishing to see these majestic trees to visit them before they are destroyed.”