Protesters gathered in a last ditch bid to halt council staff from culling trees at a Kimberley park today (Monday, February 20)
Police officers were called to Hall Om Wong park on Eastwood Road as around half-a-dozen residents climbed fences to stand in the way of Broxtowe Borough Council workmen and dozens of trees marked for felling.
Officers mediated between the protesters and council officers and a 'compromise' was said to be reached over the number of trees cut down while further studies would be made on individual trees.
Kimberley Town Councillor Kat Boettge, who represents the Green Party, joined campaigners at the site, and claimed the borough council had gone ahead with felling despite numerous concerns and calls to wait until ecology studies were completed.
She said: "Broxtowe has ignored my emails and petitions and now they've come today to do this. They've started working on these trees but this is a nature reserve."
Meanwhile some residents whose houses back onto the park were glad to see some of the trees removed.
Retiree David Inglis said: "They haven't been cut back for the past 20 odd years. The only trees that were here in 1985 is that patch at the bottom, and there's no plans to take them down at all. They're going to thin them out and make it a better park, so I'll be glad to see them come down.
The council's head of environment Paul Summers 'negotiated' with the protesters to reduce the number of trees being cut for the time being.
Broxtowe Borough Council maintains that the trees were being culled to ensure the woodland develops evenly.
A spokeswoman for the council said: "Following discussions this morning an agreement was reached to fell around 20 of the trees identified in the survey. To allow the works to progress, the Council has agreed to meet with representatives from the protest group to evaluate the remaining trees identified for felling and find a way forward.
"The ecological value and viability of woodlands can suffer without management and Hall Om Wong Park is now at the point where management is required to ensure that trees develop evenly, natural regeneration continues and biodiversity can thrive.
"The council is meeting with local groups to consult on the proposed work, which includes thinning some areas of the woodland by felling some of the trees where they are growing densely. This will be undertaken sensitively, so as not to damage the remaining trees and to avoid any harm to wildlife.
After cutting back the numbers of trees, with poorer specimens being targets where possible, youth groups will be planting wildflowers and placing bird and bat boxes as part of a community-involvement project."