March through Elmswell in bid to save precious oak tree

Residents in Elmswell and surrounding villages along with members of Extinction Rebellion Bury St Edmunds are set to march through the village in a bid to save a threatened oak tree.

They claim the oak is under threat of being felled to make way for a cycle path.

The walk will be socially distanced and participants are asked to wear face masks to ensure that the event is Covid-secure and safe for all participants. Organisers hope to raise awareness among locals about the threat to the landmark and to show the strength of feeling about this precious tree.

Alan Thompson, who lives in Elmswell, said: “One could go around a tree whether walking or cycling, better still, get the developers to move the tree.”

And Rachel Barber, another Elmswell resident, said: “Some people will say it’s just a tree, what does it matter? But it’s more than just a tree, it’s a whole eco system and why do we as humans get to decide that it should end? It is possible for us to protect the environment, we just need developers to stop taking the easy, cheap route and put nature first.”

Sharri McGarry, from campaign group Save Suffolk Trees added: “This oak has been here for hundreds of years and is providing a habitat for over 280 species of insects. In a time of biodiversity loss, it’s crucial that we save these mature habitats.”

The march is planned to take place on Sunday, December 13, and will start from the Blackbourne Community Centre at 9.45am, travelling through the village and arriving at the oak tree on School Lane by around 10.15am.

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