“I didn’t know it was wrong,” says man who cut down the tree

Remaining tree is not under threat, says owner.

By Betsy Everett

The landowner who cut down a healthy sycamore tree in Gayle says he is “truly sorry” and did not know he was doing anything wrong.

Neil Dinsdale, a building contractor in Hawes, was responding to a report from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Hawes and High Abbotside parish council that he had cut down the sycamore in Gayle Lane without permission.

The tree, and a similar one next to it, both planted about 80 to 100 years ago, is in a conservation area which meant it should not have been felled without consulting the national park.

“I am genuinely sorry,” said Mr Dinsdale. “I sought advice and was told that there was no preservation order and nothing to stop me cutting it down. I have written to the national park and the parish council to apologise.” 

“As I understand it, we’re just about three feet inside the conservation area boundary, but I really did not know. This has all knocked me sideways.”

When tree specialists from the YDNPA examined a second tree in a series of four opposite Ings View, they found it had “wounds” in its trunk suggesting it too was under threat. Yesterday they placed a tree preservation order on it to prevent it meeting a similar fate to its companion tree.

But Mr Dinsdale said the second tree was in no danger.

“I was never going to cut the second tree down,” he said. “The first tree was cut down by mistake.”