"A sad day": Much-loved ancient tree to be removed from Leamington park in the coming weeks for safety reasons

The cedar tree, regarded as one of the ‘elder statesmen’ of Jephson Gardens, is suffering from honey fungus and has been declining for a number of years

The ancient cedar tree in Jephson Gardens.
The ancient cedar tree in Jephson Gardens.

A much-loved ancient tree will be removed from a Leamington park in the coming weeks "in the interests of safety".

The cedar tree, which is located on the junction of Newbold Terrace East and Willes Road in Jephson Gardens, is suffering from honey fungus and has been declining for a number of years.

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Despite the efforts of Warwick District Council’s Green Spaces team to nurture the tree in order to prolong its life, last season’s heatwave has accelerated the spread of the disease and the council said it now needs to be felled.

Cllr Sidney Syson (Lib Dem, Leamington Milverton), who hosts regular tree walks around Jephson Gardens, said: "The cedar could be regarded as one of the ‘elder statesmen’ of the gardens.

"It will have been planted more than 100 years ago as one of the original trees, but sadly, despite the great care given by the council’s Green Spaces Team, due to a combination of disease and climate change it has now reached the end of its natural life.”

Ward councillor Jonathan Nicholls (Lab, Leamington Clarendon) added: "“This is a sad day, we know the tree will be sorely missed by local people.

"Nevertheless, as custodians of the district’s parks and open spaces the Council has the responsibility to ensure the safety of the community, which given its location at a busy road junction and public footpaths will require its removal.

"I am grateful to the Green Spaces team and colleagues from Warwickshire County Council for the work they do to preserve and maintain our wonderful collection of mature trees, which are such an asset to our town.”

Councillor Alan Rhead, the authority's portfolio holder for environment and neighbourhood services, said he too shared the regret of his fellow councillors over the need to remove the tree but that it had to be done "in the interests of safety".