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A MAN who spent more than four days in Irton’s condemned beech tree has climbed down – but was immediately replaced by a new protester.

Mark “Snoz” Snow, who climbed into the tree on Tuesday morning to prevent the county council from executing a court order to fell it, was replaced on Saturday by Charles Ledger, a 41-year-old environmental art director from Burniston.

Irton Village tree saga continues.New man Charles Ledger is now in the tree..113883b  Picture Richard Ponter

Irton Village tree saga continues.New man Charles Ledger is now in the tree..113883b Picture Richard Ponter

Mr Ledger posed as a member of the press, saying he needed a ladder to carry out an interview with Snoz.

Once up the tree he then swapped places with the 36-year-old.

“It’s a just cause,” said Mr Ledger yesterday, after he spent his first night up the 80-year-old beech tree.

“It’s quite cosy up here. I’ll stay up for as long as I need to.

“I’m passionate about the local environment and I want to highlight the inadequacy of Tree Protection Orders.

“This tree symbolises community spirit.”

Snoz arrived at the tree yesterday to show his support for Mr Ledger and has also given him advice and items he found useful.

“I take my hat off to Snoz,” Mr Ledger said. “I’m hopeful that the tree can be saved.”

The county council have applied for an injunction to remove protesters from the tree.

They are currently awaiting a court slot at the High Court in London for the application to be heard.

Homeowners in a nearby property, Gerald and Norah Hazelwood, successfully applied to a judge to have the tree felled on the grounds that its roots were damaging an outside wall and drains at their property.

David Parker, who has led a six-year campaign to save the tree, watched as Mr Ledger swapped placed with Snoz at around 5:15pm.

“He just said he was a journalist from a magazine called Greenleaf and he asked us to provide him with a method of getting up the tree,” Mr Parker said. “To our surprise Snoz walked down and he got up. We are very pleased that another committed person has turned out. Actions are speaking louder than words at the moment.

“We are indebted to Snoz’s contribution to our battle to save the tree. Our campaign carries on.”