A TREE in a Ludlow town centre car park is for the chop if Shropshire Council gets its way.

Shropshire Council is seeking permission to fell a Norway Maple in the car park in Castle Street.

The council plans to reduce it to ground level because there is a split between a major branch and the main trunk.

“Although this split has been there for a good while, I can understand why the council is concerned that it poses a safety risk to users of the car park,” said Andy Boddington, Shropshire councillor for Ludlow North.

“But this does not mean the entire tree should be felled.

The tree is suffering from poor management, but it is healthy. It needs arboriculture care, not razing to the ground.

“Despite Shropshire Council declaring a climate emergency just weeks ago, there are no plans for a replacement tree.

“It looks to me as though there has been no management of this tree since it was planted, certainly since Shropshire Council took responsibility for it a decade ago. It has grown unevenly and one limb on its west side looking vulnerable to falling into the car park. But with some expert work the limb can be severed and the tree reshaped.

“People entering the car park should see trees before they negotiate the serried ranks of parked vehicles. Trees tell visitors that Ludlow cares about its green spaces and biodiversity – which we do.

“They show that Shropshire Council cares about climate change and the role of trees in slowing and limiting increasing temperatures. Trees show that the council recognises that trees mop up pollution from vehicles and keep our air cleaner.

“But, alas, Shropshire Council’s intention is to fell the tree without replacement. That is unacceptable and I hope residents and the town council object.”

Ludlow has found itself at the centre of a debate around trees.

A proposal to remove a second tree in the town centre to make way for a new housing development is now being looked at again.

Three years ago, a tree was removed to make way for a planned development of bungalows adjacent to Sidney Road. A second three that had been due for the chop was given a last minute reprieve and now the developer has indicated a willingness to think again about the project.

Two years ago, there was a controversy when an oak tree was removed on Whitcliffe Common.