“Wounded” tree wins national park’s protection from further damage

Remaining tree is not under threat, says owner.

By Betsy Everett

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has moved to protect an endangered sycamore tree planted nearly a century ago after finding its “companion” in Gayle had been illegally felled.

While officials decide what action to take against the landowner who cut down the first healthy tree in Gayle Lane, opposite Ings View, they have placed a preservation order on the second which they believe is also under threat.

They say they have discovered “wounds” on the field side of the tree which was one of four planted around 80 to 100 years ago on the east side of the lane.

“The large wounds have not been made at the correct location to promote the wound healing . . . contrary to good arboricultural practice,” says a report by specialists who discovered the illegal felling of the original healthy tree in April. They say the “defence” offered by one of the two landowners was that he was told by an architect that the trees were not protected.

“The involvement of an architect would indicate planning aspirations for this particular location,” they add.

Failure to inform the authority before felling a tree in a conservation area could constitute a criminal offence, said a spokesman for the authority.

“We are actively considering what action we can take. In the short term we have placed a Tree Preservation Order on the next door sycamore, to ensure that this prominent tree, much enjoyed by local residents but under threat, is appropriately managed in the future.” 

It was noted that tree guards and stakes had been installed close to the stump of the felled sycamore, but with no sign of any replacement trees having been planted. The plight of the trees was discussed earlier this month by Hawes and High Abbotside parish council.

The YDNPA says it will consider a TPO if the tree in question

  • makes a significant contribution to the local environment
  • appears to be under threat
  • is expected to live longer than 10 years
  • and will grow where it is without causing an unacceptable nuisance.