Couple go out on a limb to stop sailing club cutting back trees
A COUPLE staged a protest against plans to cut back trees on the banks of the River Trent.
Ann and Robert Parker, of Lady Bay, spent yesterday afternoon making their views heard on the cycle path between The Hook and Nottingham Sailing Club. The work is being carried out for the club, which said each year it puts forward a schedule of coppicing for the willows on the river which is approved by Rushcliffe Borough Council.
The club says this is according to an agreement which has been in place since 2011.
But, Mr Parker, 55, of Holme Road, said the club was "chopping off too much. The club has for a number of years now been chopping along the river bank.
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"Their rationale is they have to cut so that they get more wind for their sails and so they have been denuding the river banks."
Mrs Parker, 56, said: "There isn't enough undergrowth for the animals.
"There is less and less opportunity for birds to nest, in particular on Hawthorn trees.
"It also creates a problem for the fishermen. There is no shade for the fish to congregate.
"It also makes it windy for people riding their bikes or walking up and down. This is having an impact on ordinary people."
The Parkers, who have lived in Lady Bay for 26 years, sat on a branch of a tree in a bid to stop it being lopped off with a chainsaw.
"We regularly walk our dog, 13-year-old Mr Dibbs, a retired greyhound, around there," said Mrs Parker.
"We've been walking past that tree for 26 years.
"It would be a terrible shame to see it have branches chopped off.
"We want it to stay the same."
She also said council officers had told the couple they would leave the tree as it was for the time being.
"For now, we can celebrate victory," she added.
Lady bay Green Party councillor Richard Mallender said: "I have been contacted by around half a dozen people over the past year who are concerned about the work carried out by the sailing club.
"We think the river banks need to be kept as natural as possible.
"The wildlife has more of a right to be there than the sailing club."
Jim Penniston, vice-commodore of the club, said the club had not been contacted by the Green Party or received any complaints.
He added: "We are managing the willow scrub along the river bank and we are in agreement with Rushcliffe Borough Council.
"We are a sailing club and the wind is very important to sailing.
"We are managing the land surrounding the river."
He added that he would have expected a Green Party councillor to be aware of what his council had agreed.