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Developer Galliford Try Partnerships North East has reported an act of environmental sabotage to Northumbria Police.
It concerns the poisoning of eight mature lime trees alongside the approach road to the Saint George development in Morpeth.
Problems were spotted late in the autumn and so the company, which is building for its Linden Homes brand, called in arboricultural specialists to carry out a detailed assessment.
These consultants have carried out detailed research and reported that the trees – which are estimated to be around 100 years old but not subject to any tree preservation orders – cannot be saved and will die. The experts also believe that whoever carried out the poisoning would have had to make multiple visits and given the number of people in the vicinity of the site during daytime, probably operated at night.
Sara Holmes, Development Director with Galliford Try Partnerships North East, said: “We were shocked by what we discovered. These are beautiful specimens which really help create a majestic woodland feel at the entrance of the development. They were specifically singled out for retention when we took possession of the site and they will be a great loss.
“It is extremely sad that someone would do this. We have reported the matter to the police and we will assist in any way we can to identify the culprits. We have also advised Morpeth Town Council and are liaising with Northumberland County Council about the next steps.”
This will involve the felling of the limes and replacing them with smaller – though heavy standard specimens – between the felled trees, before the growing season begins. All of this work will be at the expense of the developer.
For further information, contact Paul Dobbie on 0845 071 0678 / 07967 197 224 or at email@example.com
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