RESIDENTS of an Accrington street are celebrating after saving two sycamore trees from the chop.
Those living in Nuttall Street were shocked to see contractors from Lancashire County Council turn up at the Hyndburn Resource Centre early on Wednesday morning to cut down the trees outside.
Resident Anne Eagle, a care assistant, said that they had not been told of the plans beforehand and the first she knew about it was when she saw the contractors unloading their van.
She was told that the trees were being removed as Lancashire Social Services, which owns the day centre, claimed that vandals were using them to climb onto the roof. She said: "I was in the kitchen when I saw the contractors drive up and I asked them what they were doing. When they told me they were going to take down the trees, I was shocked.
"I told them to wait while I got my husband, Peter, who contacted the county council. We also got members of the Woodnook Forum down here and we tried to contact our councillors."
County council staff eventually agreed to halt the tree-felling until they had consulted with residents. Anne said: "If I hadn't been there at the right moment, the trees would have been chopped down and we wouldn't have been able to do anything about it. The council shouldn't be allowed to do whatever it wants to the countryside.
"They are beautiful trees that have been there for a long time. We are trying to regenerate this area and yet the council does this. The excuse that the vandals use the trees to get onto the roof of the centre is rubbish - they would have to be gymnasts. They use the car-port - we've seen them do it."
A county council spokesperson said: "There was initially an order made to prune the trees because there was a problem with people climbing onto the roof. Our property group then asked whether the trees could come down completely to make some building work at the centre possible. But when the contractors went out, some of the residents raised objections. Any work on the trees has now been halted until a consultation is carried out."