Dozens of protesters turn out for tree protest in Cliftonville

Protesters outside Thanet Indoor Bowls Centre in Cliftonville. Pictures: Carl Hudson

Dozens of activists turned out for a Thanet Trees protest against the pollarding of a tree in Cliftonville.

Some 60 protesters held up banners and signs outside Thanet Indoor Bowls Centre on Eastern Esplanade this morning, demanding enforcement is carried out for the cutting back of a mature tree at the site.

The bowls centre says the roots of the tree are going under the building and causing damage.

The cutting work was halted by Thanet District Council following a complaint by a resident and a tree officer from the authority asked that the “pollard” be tidied up.

Protesters outside Thanet Indoor Bowls Centre in Cliftonville. Picture: Carl Hudson

But campaigners from Thanet Trees say this was “inadequate” and are demanding tougher action, including fines, replanting and better protection of the environment by the council.

They say councillors need to hold officers to account to ensure trees are protected.

Sixty protesters got involved in the demonstration, including councillors Becky Wing (Green Party), Ramsgate mayor Cllr Raushan Ara and Cliftonville’s Cllr Harry Scobie (Labour).

A spokesman for Thanet trees said: “We need our councillors to uphold the law and ensure Thanet District Council operates legally and in the best interests of its electorate and the environment.”


    • Mr X you need to go to Specsavers. I was there. I counted 62 when I arrived and others came later. Whats your problem with the protest ?

      • Thank you for your concern I am booked on a week Saturday, if you can see more than 60 in each of those photos than your eyes are better than mine. But thank you for being concerned for my eye sight.

  1. Well done Thanet Trees, I wish I could have been there but was stuck working. That poor tree has been butchered and would take years to grow back to a decent size (if it does at all). People don’t realise the importance of each tree in preventing climate change. We need to wake up and take a stand, for the sake of our children. TDC need to enforce tough measures to show that they take climate change seriously, otherwise this vandalism will continue.

    • Some people including me did not want to crowd together. This was at the end so some people had gone home. I must correct one mistake in your article. This was not a Pollard tree- it was the first time it had been cut and one person said it predated the bowls centre’s construction. Also their intention was to cut it down not pollard it. Only a member of the public standing by it and calling the council prevented its complete removal. Other trees were previously felled. Stumps alone now visible.

    • If we didn’t pump so much CO2 into the atmosphere, there wouldn’t be such a pressing need for remedial action.
      How many of these 60 (62 …) people drove to the protest, I wonder?
      BTW trees are not the answer. They only bind up some CO2 for a few score of years, then die and release it back into the atmosphere.
      BTW, I think trees are great, and I value our woodland.

      • I’ve just done some sums.
        One protestor came from Canterbury (36 miles round trip), another from Sevenoaks (124 miles round trip) making 160 miles together.
        If they drove, then at 0.158 kh/mile CO2, they would have pumped over 25kg of CO2 into the atmosphere. That’s a good-sized branch. And if they drive those sorts of distance every day, that’s a tree a month.

  2. Welcome to planet Zog. Sad individuals with a strange set of principles. I’d join them if it was protesting about how our MPs have voted against or abstained on the free meals vote. Look like a bunch of snowy tops with nothing to hug except a tree. PLANKS!!!

  3. People have protested in a petition for the free meals for needy children through holidays while Covid-19 lasts.
    Trees are important as give life. This was the last remaining tree along this section of Cliftonville prom. The trees were there before the tin shed was constructed there. This is just one tree, but the fact is trees are being felled all over Thanet willy nilly for new developments and TDC are not upholding the law in protecting them. The Bowls club lies in a conservation area so this tree is supposedly protected by law and it is now down to TDC to issue a fine of up to £20,000 as the club did not apply to make works on a tree, thus giving the public a say and the council 6 weeks to make a decision.

  4. I have learnt a lot this week, since this tree was courageously saved, and it is clear to me that our tree officer needs our support, not our criticism. His budget and powers are extremely limited and we have to support those of our councillors, regardless of party, that are determined to regain their elected right to determine our future, from officers who have for too long considered it their right to rule Thanet. Please choose your next councillor solely by their determination to decide for us, not their willingness to accept “Yes councillor!”

    • Thanet District Council is responsible for the administration and management of trees in Conservation Areas and Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). That is the law.

    • Were they asked? If they knew nothing about it, they can’t do anything.
      My understanding is that as soon as the arborial activities were brought to the Council’s attention, it ordered work to stop.

  5. Really!! I love all our trees as much as the next person but people are struggling to survive at the moment in case you haven’t noticed, worrying about whether they will have jobs, how to feed themselves etc.

  6. Could the TDC explain and defend its actions? It also needs to present the scientific evidence behind its plans to uproot several mature trees on Broadstairs Road, Brodstairs in the ward of a GREEN member of the Council

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