Thousands of people have signed an online petition to save oak trees from the chop in Thurston ahead of a crucial meeting on the fate of the mature trees.
A total of 5,521 have added their names to the petition following a campaign by people from the village, supported by Extinction Rebellion Bury St Edmunds, which has successfully lobbied for utilities to be re-routed into the road and around the trees.
Planning permission was granted to Persimmon Houses for the construction of 250 new houses to the west of Ixworth Road.
Part of the plan includes a new footpath and cycleway to enable residents of these dwellings to make their way into the centre of the village and to the school. Instead of putting the path set back from the road, behind the line of trees and hedgerows, Persimmon Homes have removed established hedging and felled all but a few of the 20 or more middle-aged trees alongside Ixworth Road.
Campaigners are working hard to save the remaining oak trees from the axe. They are concerned the area is conservation of habitat for bats and other species and have conducted a bat survey focussing on the three oldest remaining trees. Data is still being analysed, but campaigners say there was activity from at least five bat species recorded across the trees.
A meeting between stakeholders from Persimmon Homes, Suffolk County Council, Mid Suffolk District Council, Thurston villagers and Extinction Rebellion is to take place.