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Mother accuses neighbours of poisoning 100ft tree in light row

- By James Tozer

WHEN the majestic 100ft sycamore in her garden started turning brown, Jill Sarchet immediatel­y became suspicious.

Neighbours had complained the 200year- old tree blocked their light, but she pointed out that a preservati­on order protected it.

Clearing a path through the undergrowt­h, the mother- of- two was shocked to discover dozens of holes had been drilled into its trunk and a foaming liquid injected.

Now experts have warned the tree has been poisoned and there is a ‘very high chance’ it will die. Yesterday the 51-year- old said she had reported the attacks to police, blaming a disgruntle­d neighbour.

‘This behaviour is totally unwarrante­d and unnecessar­y,’ she said. ‘To think that someone is creeping into my garden either when I’m not at home or at night to carry out this kind of malicious behaviour is devastatin­g.

I now lay in bed wondering if someone is out there.’ Mrs Sarchet, a receptioni­st, has lived in her £200,000 detached house in the village of Worsthorne-with-Hurstwood, near Burnley, for nine years. Standing in a conservati­on area, the property was built in the former orchard of a farmhouse dating back to the 1500s.

Several trees in its garden are centuries old and, like the sycamore, are subject to tree preservati­on orders. Anyone who breaches one can be fined up to £20,000.

Mrs Sarchet said problems began when a family bought a nearby house. ‘Some neighbours said they didn’t like the tree because it blocked sunlight from their house. They should have considered all this before they bought the house,’ she said, adding that she was ‘99 per cent sure’ who did it.

Her elderly father has now erected a 12ft high fence to prevent access.

She is being supported by Burnley councillor Gordon Birtwistle. He said: ‘I was absolutely outraged. This is disgusting behaviour.’

‘Very high chance tree will die’

 ??  ?? Suspicions: Jill Sarchet believes she knows who attacked the 200-year-old tree
Suspicions: Jill Sarchet believes she knows who attacked the 200-year-old tree
 ??  ?? Evidence: Drill hole in the trunk
Evidence: Drill hole in the trunk
 ??  ?? Giant: The 100ft sycamore
Giant: The 100ft sycamore
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??

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