Shock and outrage has followed a slip-up that led to a ‘historic’ village plum tree orchard being chopped down – by mistake.
Now Central Beds Council has apologised over the loss of the seven Aylesbury Prune trees, in Church Green, Totternhoe.
Two trees were earmarked to be felled as they were in a dangerous condition.
But instead, all seven were chopped down.
The five felled in error were said to be in a very poor condition but the plan had been to inspect them again.
One protestor, Sandra Kerrison, said the trees were a “historic centrepiece”.
She said: “We are devastated. It has totally altered the character of the place.” She said the mature trees were a haven for wildlife and still bore fruit, and husband David said the Aylesbury Prune is a rare variety.
They say an expert advises grass around the felled trees should be left uncut to allow ‘suckers’ to grow and they are also pressing for replacement Aylesbury Prune trees to be planted, and protected.
Central Beds executive councillor Carole Hegley said a “miscommunication” between the council and the contractor led to the trees being felled.
She said: “We would like to offer our sincere apologies for this. It shouldn’t have happened and we have written to local residents to apologise. We are in the process of consulting with residents regarding replacement trees and will be working closely with them regarding the options available.”