Eco workers battle to save historic tree on supermarket development site

Eco workers battle to save historic tree on supermarket development site

CAMPAIGNING: Ecology Building Society ethics manager Anna Laycock, left, and chief operating officer George Haslem, second from left, are joined by staff from the society headquarters in Belton Road, Silsden, next to the threatened tree

Ecology Building Society ethics manager Anna Laycock, left, and chief operating officer George Haslem, second from left, are joined by staff from the society headquarters in Belton Road, Silsden, next to the threatened tree (8963099)

The Aldi supermarket building site next to the Ecology Building Society headquarters in Belton Road, Silsden (8963129)

The Aldi supermarket building site next to the Ecology Building Society headquarters in Belton Road, Silsden (8963124)

The Ecology Building Society headquarters in Belton Road, Silsden (8963180)

Ecology Building Society staff have fastened signs on the threatened tree next to its headquarters in Belton Road, Silsden (8963062)

First published in News
Last updated
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GREEN-MINDED workers are fighting to save a magnificent 200-year-old tree due to be axed during development of a new Aldi store in Silsden.

The 30-metre high lime tree, with massive spreading boughs, stands on the perimeter of the food-store's newly-approved site off Keighley Road.

And half of its branches reach over a stone wall and several metres into the adjoining grounds of the Ecology Building Society (EBS) on Belton Road.

Staff there believed the tree was protected by a preservation order as Bradford Council permission had previously been needed to carry out essential lopping.

But on Monday they were approached by contractors from the Aldi site wishing to chop down the much-loved tree.

"We'd had no prior warning and we denied them access to our property to fence off the tree and begin felling it," said EBS Ethics Manager Anna Laycock.

"That tree is so dear to staff who work here and more importantly is home to so many animals that to chop it down would be heartless and unnecessary."

"It really is irreplaceable," said Miss Laycock.

EBS chief operating officer George Haslem said staff had placed notices around the tree asking contractors to hold the axe until urgent discussions with Aldi had taken place.

"Our business is all about supporting sustainable developments and so we have a clear link with maintaining bio-diversity," said Mr Haslem, speaking in their new conference room made of plastered straw bales.

"We have contacted Aldi and are waiting for a response which will hopefully lead to discussion," he said.

Ethics manager Miss Laycock later added that staff had been assured by the on-site contractors yesterday that no action would be taken against the tree until those discussions had been resolved.

"There is a preservation order on the tree, however it is in the plans to remove it.

"Although we have not been notified of this and it would mean coming onto our land, which we will not allow," she said.

The Ecology Building Society was formed in 1981 and has been in its turf-roofed Silsden since 2003 where it employs 23 local people dealing with loans exclusively for eco-friendly projects.

No-one from Aldi was available to comment.

Comments (6)

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10:26pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Class_War says...

Thank goodness for the staff of Ecology Building Society. What on earth does it mean by "There is a preservation order on the tree, however it is in the plans to remove it"? Either the Tree is protected or it isn't. It all just goes to show that despite much recent retail publicity, Aldi are really no different to all the other big supermarkets when it comes to it. Sounds like they're building it in the wrong place altogether. At the end of the day, Capitalism left unregulated, would destroy the planet.
Thank goodness for the staff of Ecology Building Society. What on earth does it mean by "There is a preservation order on the tree, however it is in the plans to remove it"? Either the Tree is protected or it isn't. It all just goes to show that despite much recent retail publicity, Aldi are really no different to all the other big supermarkets when it comes to it. Sounds like they're building it in the wrong place altogether. At the end of the day, Capitalism left unregulated, would destroy the planet. Class_War
  • Score: 6

10:33am Wed 6 Aug 14

Thackleygirl says...

Well done to all at Ecology Building Society - this tree must be saved. Its not rocket science - No 'ifs' or 'buts' - come on Bradford Council and Aldi get a grip ...
Well done to all at Ecology Building Society - this tree must be saved. Its not rocket science - No 'ifs' or 'buts' - come on Bradford Council and Aldi get a grip ... Thackleygirl
  • Score: 2

2:59pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Out of site says...

Thackleygirl wrote:
Well done to all at Ecology Building Society - this tree must be saved. Its not rocket science - No 'ifs' or 'buts' - come on Bradford Council and Aldi get a grip ...
Get a life it's only a tree,there's plenty more.
[quote][p][bold]Thackleygirl[/bold] wrote: Well done to all at Ecology Building Society - this tree must be saved. Its not rocket science - No 'ifs' or 'buts' - come on Bradford Council and Aldi get a grip ...[/p][/quote]Get a life it's only a tree,there's plenty more. Out of site
  • Score: 2

10:36pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Class_War says...

@ out of site

It's a tree, not "only" a tree. There are plenty more supermarkets. Trees are more important.
@ out of site It's a tree, not "only" a tree. There are plenty more supermarkets. Trees are more important. Class_War
  • Score: 0

7:25am Thu 7 Aug 14

BCFC1911 says...

Class_War wrote:
Thank goodness for the staff of Ecology Building Society. What on earth does it mean by "There is a preservation order on the tree, however it is in the plans to remove it"? Either the Tree is protected or it isn't. It all just goes to show that despite much recent retail publicity, Aldi are really no different to all the other big supermarkets when it comes to it. Sounds like they're building it in the wrong place altogether. At the end of the day, Capitalism left unregulated, would destroy the planet.
Can you not see this is just a marketing gimmick. This story was even in two nationals yesterday with all the protesters wearing the building society logo t shirts.
[quote][p][bold]Class_War[/bold] wrote: Thank goodness for the staff of Ecology Building Society. What on earth does it mean by "There is a preservation order on the tree, however it is in the plans to remove it"? Either the Tree is protected or it isn't. It all just goes to show that despite much recent retail publicity, Aldi are really no different to all the other big supermarkets when it comes to it. Sounds like they're building it in the wrong place altogether. At the end of the day, Capitalism left unregulated, would destroy the planet.[/p][/quote]Can you not see this is just a marketing gimmick. This story was even in two nationals yesterday with all the protesters wearing the building society logo t shirts. BCFC1911
  • Score: 0

8:09am Thu 7 Aug 14

Out of site says...

Class_War wrote:
@ out of site

It's a tree, not "only" a tree. There are plenty more supermarkets. Trees are more important.
Crackpot.
[quote][p][bold]Class_War[/bold] wrote: @ out of site It's a tree, not "only" a tree. There are plenty more supermarkets. Trees are more important.[/p][/quote]Crackpot. Out of site
  • Score: 0

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