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Two friends are holding a sit-down protest to save the only large tree on their road

·3-min read

Two friends are holding a sit-down protest to save the only large tree on their road - which one of them used to swing on as a child.

Neighbours Sue Bradshaw, 61, and Monica Linthwaite, 59, are sitting under the sycamore every day in deckchairs - with cakes, tea and biscuits.

Council contractors have arrived to cut it down - but have been repeatedly told by the pair to leave it alone.

The pair live on Poltair Road in Penryn and learned the tree had been deemed dangerous and rotten by Cornwall Council's contractor Cormac.

It was due to be felled but the pair were appalled - Monica's dad put a rope swing in it for her when she was a little girl. 

The pair woke up to the sound of a chainsaw revving Tuesday morning and rushing out, they saw a worker up the tree beginning to prune it.

Cormac sent workers to take off parts of the tree, ahead of its felling, but Sue and Monica chained themselves to the tree in opposition. 

The workers soon left after the pair made it clear they had no intention of letting their beloved tree fall.

In fear of the workers returning to finish the job - Sue and Monica have now been sitting outside the tree.

Monica has lived on the street her whole life, while Civil Servant Sue has lived there for 30 years.

Ex-carer Monica said: "It's been here since my mum and dad moved in 1958.

"My dad put a little rope swing up at one point - it didn't last long but the thought was there.

"They're saying its rotten, but they haven't done any tests on it. Let's face it there wasn't any branches coming up through the pavement.

"There was never letter to warn us in the first place. They just turned up one morning to take it down.

"I think a house reported it saying it was dangerous but if it was, why's it taken a year to come round and cut it down?

"I don't know what the real reason is. Maybe it was blocking their view."

Cormac attempted to move the pair off the site, allegedly threatening to call the police.

They were also initially offered hard hats, in case of any falling piece of wood, which Sue and Monica refused.

Workers left the site at around midday Tuesday, presumed to be planning to return another day.

Devon and Cornwall Police said it is not aware of any police-related incidents on Poltair Road this morning.

A Cormac spokesperson said: "The Sycamore at Poltair Road is one of Cornwall Council Highway's 'Street Trees'. 

''The Street Tree population is regularly inspected and managed by Cormac tree specialists, on behalf of Cornwall Council, to ensure the safety of highway users.

"Our tree specialists have been periodically monitoring the condition of this particular Sycamore tree since 2012 when it was first identified that it was showing signs of ill health and decay.

"The most recent inspection of this tree highlighted that its condition has worsened and that it poses a danger to residents and users of Poltair Road, regretfully it will need to be taken down.

"Before we undertake any further work, Cormac and Cornwall Council representatives will meet with those concerned at the earliest opportunity, to talk through our assessment of the tree and the action necessary to maintain highway safety."