Calls mount for strong response to fellers of "oldest UK redwood"

More than 3,000 people have signed a petition calling for tough action against a developer and contractor who cut down one of the UK's oldest giant redwood trees "by mistake".

Image: Google Streetview
Image: Google Streetview

The TPO-listed tree, on a building site in Penllergaer, Swansea, "was not marked up correctly", according to developer Enzo's Homes, which is building 80 new properties within woodland lying in a historic estate.

Set up by Friends of the Earth Swansea, the petition states: "We urgently need to ensure the council acts and prosecutes the people responsible. Given their history we cannot be sure they will do this."

Documentary evidence appears to show that the tree was planted in the 1840s, making it probably the oldest giant redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in the UK. It stood nearly 30m in height with a trunk diameter of 1.6m.

Arboricultural consultant Jeremy Barrell, who has been following the case, said: "A tree of these dimensions in good health located in a heritage setting would be valued at around £380,000 using the CAVAT approach.

"It is likely that it would have been categorised as a Grade II* heritage tree, so an irreplaceable community asset of 'more than special interest'."

He added: "Let's hope Swansea Council investigate properly and prosecute if the TPO was contravened and a criminal offence committed."

Swansea Council and Natural Resources Wales say they are investigating the felling.

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