Occupation of Duke Street tree site comes to an end

Stage at the protest camp objecting to a tree felling in Margate

The Duke Street tree protest camp is no longer on site after members were evicted today (May 6).

Campaigners took over the Old Town plot on April 27 to protest at the planned felling of a Sycamore tree at the site.

Permission to fell the tree was originally given in 2018 as part of an approval for a planning application to develop the site.

The plot which had been earmarked as a community garden until Thanet council sold it in 2017 and granted planning permission in 2018 for a four-storey property with five flats and a commercial unit.

Save the Duke campaigners wanted to preserve the tree and revive the community garden proposals.

The protest camp

During the 10 day occupation the campaigners built a stage, had live music and belly-dancing and were visited by a Kill the Bill march.

But on Bank Holiday Monday the site owners turned up and a confrontation took place leading to police arresting the owners and two protesters. All were later released without charge.

The group is pursuing legal action to try and halt the felling and other environmental ‘crimes’.

Protest camp: Campaigners Dan Bradley (right) . Tony Waite and Dosh Archer Photo Frank Leppard

In a post to the Save the Duke site one of the group said: “We are unfortunately no longer on site.

“It’s not a choice we have taken easily but we have been officially evicted and will be breaking the law if we remain there any longer.

“We all want to say the biggest thank you to everyone who has supported us and done their bit to make us comfortable and in high spirits.

“Our legal case will continue and all money from the site tin will be added to that fund.”

Find save the Duke on facebook here


  1. Peter Checksfield or over the weekend when TDC employee’s do not work. Ledge Point in Westgate is a fantastic example. The whole building was demolished one weekend. No enforcement officers were working.

  2. As the article states, felling the tree does not have to be in the dead of night. Permission was granted in 2018. If anything this pointless protest is going to make the site owners take it down quicker to stop anymore trouble. So well done to the Protesters for making sure it comes down sooner than later.

    • The ‘save the tree crowd’ could all chip in and buy the site. Some of them seem to have the means.
      Hopefully the site owners will not pursue the protesters for eviction expenses.

  3. They are not allowed to fell it during the nesting season if birds are building or nesting in the tree as part of the TDC consent which is also in law.
    If saws begin cutting then they risk receiving a hefty fine.

    • Any birds nesting in this tree, will have been driven out by the disturbance of people playing drums etc. To be sure be sure there is no nesting one of the protesters climbed up there, to check and have his picture taken for the paper.

    • A misunderstanding commonly spread by environmentalists, you can fell trees all year around, but whenever you carry out the work, you should always carefully check for birds nests and bat roosting potential first. This tree has neither.

  4. Must be reading this wrong Kent Resident , It was East Kent Housing or maybe TDC that cut the lot down at the Winter Gardens when birds were nesting. I cannot recall any action being taken maybe I missed it.

  5. Is it possible for people who were not evicted to take over the site I know that romany gypsies have occupied places in Thanet only to be evicted then after a short while others have occupied the site

    TDC will not repair the waterfall at the moment if they were responsible for cutting down the trees at the winter gardens while birds were nesting just shows you how corrupt TDC are

  6. MA Clift,
    Couldn’t put it better myself, you can always tell the backhanded pocket filling by all the underhanded things TDC get away with.

  7. So few trees in and around Margate. We have lost so many Thanet “assets” sold off to help balance the books. Look at Dreamland…is that never to be enjoyed by locals and tourists again!! Tree’s are just as much an asset, beautiful and need to be fought for, as does Dreamland.

    • Personally, I’d gladly bulldoze both Dreamland and Arlington, and put a road through it… and then I’d pedestrianise the seafront, adding lots of trees.

Comments are closed.