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Whitstable Slaughter: The Cherry Trees in Oakwood Drive

Updated on September 14, 2016
Whitstable Views profile image

CJ Stone is an author and columnist. He appears regularly in the British press. Currently he has a column in the Whitstable Gazette.

One of the tree stumps in Oakwood Drive. There are twelve of these altogether.
One of the tree stumps in Oakwood Drive. There are twelve of these altogether.

Cherry trees

Kent County Council are cutting down the Cherry trees in Oakwood Drive in Tankerton. I noticed it the other day. There was a bunch of workmen with a chainsaw and a shredder and they were removing the trees at an alarming rate. There are now twelve tree stumps lined up along the road, which looks very stark without their homely shade.

I spoke to someone at the Highway Services department who told me that they were being brought down because the roots were undermining garden walls and disrupting the pavements. This seems like a drastic step to me. Walls and pavements are man-made objects and can be replaced in days, while trees are living things and take a lifetime to grow.

One of the residents told me that it was a health and safety issue. The Council are liable if anyone trips up on one of the roots and hurts themselves. This is patently absurd. It’s not like the tree roots are growing at such a fantastic pace that they are liable to leap out of the ground and grab someone’s feet. All you have to do is to step over them.

Compensation

I blame compensation culture myself. These days no one can do anything without considering the possibility of compensation claims. Take those tree roots. It’s not the tree’s fault if you trip over them. It’s not the County Council’s fault. It’s your own fault for not watching where you are going.

Chopping down trees because they might produce a hazard is a bit like culling children because they might grow up to become serial killers.

Who knows what might happen in the future? I heard a story once about two teenage boys who stole a London bus and went on a wild driving spree. Do we ban London buses on the basis that teenage boys might want to steal them? Do we lock up all teenage boys on the basis that they tend to be wild and unpredictable at times?

Or do we just say “things happen” and accept we can’t be accountable for every eventuality?

A markerOakwood Drive Whitstable -
Oakwood Dr, Whitstable CT5 1NY, UK
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    • Whitstable Views profile image
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      Whitstable Views 7 years ago from Whitstable, UK

      Thanks for your comments everyone. Been away from this site so not noticed them before now.

    • bubbleboy2233 profile image

      Stephen Coombs 7 years ago from Whitstable

      Maybe it done for another higher purpose? (Oakwood, Cherry) twelve ring any bells? Everything has its meaning now and its all significant for decode. Just a thought!? :)

    • fen lander profile image

      fen lander 7 years ago from Whitstable

      Phew!!! I was terribly concerned about those cherry trees myself, Chris, so am glad the burea-prats have seen sense and taken action against them. If one of those cherries had dropped off, fell 6 inches under the force of gravity (a seriously unregulated force) and hit someone on the head... the probable result doesn't bear thinking about... they were quite big cherries, after all.

      They may be dismantling the moronic Health And Safety Executive but the risk-avoidance mind-set (their version of holy-writ), remains, so god help us all. I wonder how the residents in Oakwood feel about the council, now? Anyone for cherries?

    • profile image

      diogenes 7 years ago

      Hi Chris: Biting hub. It seems nearly time to go to some remote spot and live in a cave. Baja maybe. These swinish, mindless bureaucrats and their brain-dead slaves. Cuting down a mature, ancient tree is equal to picking up a game rifle and assassinating an elephant. he only consolation is out tenure on earth is close to ending perhaps...Bob

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