By Jenni Davidson
A group of campaigners is fighting to save an elm tree in Vernon Terrace in the Seven Dials area of Brighton.
The tree is due to be cut down tomorrow morning (Thursday 7 March) as part of improvements to the Seven Dials roundabout.
Messages attached to the elm tree invite the public to text their support and to lobby Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas.
Dr Lucas has made it clear that she is against the removal of the tree and that she is lobbying the council on the subject.
In response to a note pinned to the tree saying “Still time to change your mind Caroline”, she has added a message of her own:
“Caroline here – my mind isn’t a question – I am against cutting down this tree and have made that clear to council.”
Another handwritten note on the tree from a small child says: “Do not cut me down! I love this tree! It is my favourite! Tilly Age 5”.
The removal of the tree was approved as part of changes to the Seven Dials roundabout at a meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Transport Committee in January.
Among the reasons for removing the tree are that it makes it difficult for people with pushchairs and wheelchairs to get past and that it blocks the view of the pedestrian crossing behind it.
The council plans to plant ten new trees as part of the redevelopment of the area around the roundabout.
Brighton and Hove has the largest range of elm species in the country and is renowned for its success in combating Dutch Elm Disease, a fungal infection that kills elm trees.