Upset over felling of 10 trees at Ramsgate community ‘wooded area’

Jocelyn says the trees were felled despite having preservation orders

A Ramsgate resident says he is devastated at the felling of ten trees in his street – one of which he planted as a sapling 30 years ago.

Jocelyn McCarthy, 88, says all ten trees in Vale Square Gardens had preservation orders and he is shocked that they were cut down despite being healthy.

The Vale Square Residents Association member said: “There was one that I had planted in memory of a resident 30 years ago and that has been taken down. They had TPOs and are not supposed to be taken down unless they are diseased or dying and these were healthy.”

Mr McCarthy, who in 2018 led a successful campaign to get Vale Square east garden withdrawn from auction after Thanet council listed it for asset disposal, says in the past 35 years he has only ever gained permission for crowning on trees in the gardens and is shocked that the felling was approved.

He said: “At that time the arborator was John Hammond but he left and the council does not have anyone now.

“I’m upset about the Canadian Maple as a family member had brought it back and we planted it. This is a conservation area and the trees had TPOs in what is classed as a wooded area.”

Approval was given by Thanet council earlier this year to remove the trees. An Arboricultural Assessment and Recommendation  for the authority was carried out based on documents provided with the application and publicly available aerial photos and Google Street View images.

The reason for removal was given as the Sycamore, Ash and Norway Maple trees had created a dense canopy that suppressed the growth of a number of young trees of other species including Beech, Cherry, Silver Birch, Horse Chestnut and Lime.

The report says: “The trees in the gardens are well established, some 16m tall, and are a locally important landscape feature. They make a significant contribution to the character of this part of the Ramsgate Conservation Area. As a collective group or feature the trees may be considered to have High amenity value.

“However, they have been quite densely planted or self seeded, resulting in trees growing in very tight groups, suppressing growth and development, and many have relatively narrow stems supporting high crowns. Individual trees within the area could be therefore be considered of Low value.”

The recommendation was to allow the fellings subject to a condition requiring the planting of 2 Wild Cherry, 2 Lime, 2 Beech and a Silver Birch tree.


  1. TDC don’t care about the environment, all they see is the cost of maintenance now and the future so its cheaper for TDC to remove the trees, it’s a common thing with TDC ,just cut it down, last year three trees were cut down near me and l know they were all healthy, just because someone said they were blocking light ,so instead of thining out the trees they removed them.

  2. Sounds like T.D.C. is giving preference to native species. As it should, both morally & legally.
    I’m a big tree fan and I’ve planted dozens over the years, but this does not seem wrong.

  3. Ramsgate Town Council didn’t comment on this application because it wasn’t called into the committee. We usually rely on ward councilors to do that, in this case Cllrs Wing, Ara and Austin. They are usually hot on tree issues, but not this time.

    • Yes, we missed this one completely I’m afraid, David. However, as it was the Residents’ Association who made the application for felling, and it appears the trees needed to be thinned out for the strongest ones to thrive, it’s unlikely the proposal would have been rejected, whatever RTC had said. We visited with Jocelyn when the felling was in progress and checked with the Planning Officer, and everything had been done properly. I’m submitting a question about tree preservation & planting to next week’s TDC Council meeting, as we need to be encouraging more planting as well as preserving our mature trees where we can.


  4. The residents association doesn’t speak for everyone, yet again TDC has ridden roughshod over their own rules and regulations. ” we will be green as long as it suits us” but generally we will do what we damn well pleasey.

  5. I always believed that the gardens in the middle belonged to the residents of Vale Sq and not the council!

    My Grandmother lived at No15 for many many years and the garden were closed except for residents to use!

    Maybe it got sold but I dont think that would of been excepted by the whole Square!

  6. There is a shocking lack of mature trees in Ramsgate, and across the whole of Thanet – it seems utterly perverse to chop down healthy mature trees.
    Looking at TDC’s website, there are vanishingly few protected trees in Ramsgate – an appalling situation considering how depended we all are on them:
    Trees act as natural shade, wind breaks, and absorb harmful pollution.
    They cool the air in the summer months and help prevent flooding and soil erosion in the wetter months.
    They provide food and habitat for a huge array of wildlife, birds, insects and native animals.
    And of course they look beautiful.
    All for free.

  7. There are quite a lot of trees in Thanet.
    Just considering Ramsgate:
    King George VI Park;
    Ellington Park;
    Boundary Road Park;
    Montefiore Woods;
    Government Acre;
    Memorial Irhmchard;
    Plus plenty of trees scattered around the town.
    I see that 10 trees, including invasive sycamores, have been cut down to open up the canopy and encourage biodiversity. Some of the trees are being replaced with 7 native species.

  8. Agree Peter. And that may or may not deter people from parking on them. Pavement trees must be relatively expensive to maintain – they need watering daily in hot weather for the first few years. I’m wary of suggesting neighbourhoods take over TDC’s responsibilities, but if local people offered to carry out at least basic maintenance, that might encourage this type of planting.

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