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Southport Visiter - - Front Page - BY CHANTELLE HEEDS chantelle.heeds@reach­plc.com @chantelle­heeds

AMUCH- LOVED tree on a South­port road which is home to var­i­ous birds has been saved, af­ter in­ter­ven­tion by a coun­cil­lor.

Cllr Mar­i­anne Welsh stopped a large tree on Wil­low Grove be­ing felled “in the nick of time”.

The Nor­wood coun­cil­lor got in­volved af­ter “shocked” res­i­dents con­tacted her when they saw that a no­tice had been pinned to the tree’s trunk to say it would be felled in Au­gust.

One res­i­dent asked her to save the tree as it is known lo­cally for be­ing very im­por­tant as a habi­tat for wildlife - es­pe­cially birds - in­clud­ing a pair of tawny owls.

The de­ci­sion to fell the tree came af­ter a Sefton Coun­cil in­spec­tion last year found that part of the tree was caus­ing an ob­struc­tion to the road.

Cllr Welsh said: “I found out that more than a year and a half ago this tree was rec­om­mended for felling and so asked the tree and wood­land of­fi­cer to look at it again as when it was first in­spected it was not in leaf, which it is now and looks healthy.

“She did and has told me that the ivy will be re­moved and in the win­ter af­ter the nest­ing sea­son the tree will be pruned and there­after the tree will be mon­i­tored.

“If at any time there is an in­creased health and safety con­cern for the pub­lic, I was told it would have to be re­moved but at the mo­ment it has had a stay of ex­e­cu­tion.”

A coun­cil spokesper­son said: “Dur­ing an in­spec­tion of a tree in Wil­low Grove last year we dis­cov­ered that part of the tree was caus­ing an ob­struc­tion on the high­way, pos­ing a po­ten­tial risk.

“A de­ci­sion was made at that time that it would be in the best in­ter­ests of all to re­move the tree due to its de­clin­ing con­di­tion and to en­sure pub­lic safety.

“How­ever, dur­ing a re­cent fur­ther in­spec­tion, we could see that the con­di­tion of the tree had im­proved over the past 12 months and have de­cided to kill the ivy to al­low for a clearer vis­ual in­spec­tion of the tree and prune back the limb that en­croaches on the road to see if that makes any dif­fer­ence.

“Once we have car­ried out these re­me­dial works, we will con­tinue to mon­i­tor the tree closely to see whether its con­di­tion im­proves and that it poses no risk to pub­lic safety, which is our pri­mary con­cern.”

Cllr Mar­i­anne Welsh with the en­dan­gered tree in Wil­low Grove

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