Rogue Stoke Newington tree-hacker chops down trees in conservation area without consent

The remaining tree stumps and chopped down branches which were left after a resident hacked down two trees.

The remaining tree stumps and chopped down branches which were left after a resident hacked down two trees. - Credit: Archant

A pair of trees – believed to be around 100 years old – have been cut down in a conservation area without permission.

The trees in Benthal Road, Stoke Newington, were allegedly vandalised by a resident with a chainsaw in broad daylight on July 7.

A couple of neighbours questioned the attack on the 70ft trees but the determined resident seemed “oblivious” to their requests and continued chopping them down.

A witness and resident who has lived on the street for more than 30 years, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s traumatic. There were people shouting at him. They were saying ‘What are you doing?’ but he didn’t respond. Hackney Council did not know about it. No permission was granted by them. This man had no respect for the tree as a living organism and the community it interacted with.”

He added: “I think it’s despicable. Anybody who doesn’t know the value of trees should be counselled.”

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Environmental organisation Tree Muskateers spokesman Russell Miller, 47, said: “A lot of trees are being lost to development and in this sort of situation and there’s no record of what we are losing. Nobody keeps an account.”

A spokeswoman from Hackney Council said: “The council has received a report that trees in a conservation area have been cut down without authorisation. This is a serious matter which is being investigated by the council to see if an offence has been committed.”

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The destruction of a tree in a conservation area without authorisation is a criminal act and potentially liable to a £20,000 fine per tree and/or a jail sentence.

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