TWO huge Hyndburn con-ker trees have been earmarked for the chop after fears were raised over their safety.
Workmen moved in on this tree at the entrance to the Woodlands in Clayton-le-Moors after discovering it had contracted a fungal disease.
Andrew Hayhurst, Hynd-burn Council's park development officer, said: "We are taking these steps to try to stop the spread of the disease. It separates bark from the tree, causing branches and limbs to fall off. We have to do this for safety reasons."
Another tree in the grounds of Christ Church, Accrington, has also been condemned after concerns were raised that it could topple over as a result of rot.
Christ Church vicar, the Rev Kevin Logan, called in tree inspectors after the Observer reported that around 60 trees had been targeted for felling in Memorial Park, Great Har-wood, after contracting the bleeding canker disease.
Ironically, the trees in the church grounds were all given the all-clear, except for one at the junction of Rough Lee Road and Christ Church Square.
Explaining the decision, Mr Logan said: "We don't want it go but it is a danger for the kids who play underneath it. "The area serves as a playground and meeting point for the community. It's particularly vital that it stays safe."
He said: "It was our decision to get the trees checked out after we read in the Observer about conker trees being diseased. "The trees were cleared of having bleeding canker disease, but the council decided this one was unsafe.
"We think it's been up for about 100 years. It's got a nine- foot girth and it dominates the front of the church and Christ Church Square."
In a letter authorising the felling of the tree, Mark Cocks, Hyndburn's trees and woodlands officer, said it had internal decay.
He added: "This tree has a substantial trunk leaning over the church entrance and internal decay at the fork of the trunk. "This tree is potentially unsafe. While it could last for several years, there is also an unacceptable risk that it could suddenly give way. Felling is recommended and it should be replaced with two trees."
Mr Logan revealed that the ashes of his late father-in-law, George Jones, a former verger at Christ Church, are buried beneath the tree, as well as the ashes of former vicar the Rev Justin Wenter and two of his grandchildren - Justin and Elizabeth.
But he added: "Felling the trees won't disturb the ashes. We will continue to keep the area as an informal memorial garden."