Injunction granted on tree protest

Charles "Ledge" Ledger in the beech tree.  Picture by Neil Silk  113901a
Charles "Ledge" Ledger in the beech tree. Picture by Neil Silk 113901a

A HIGH Court injunction has been granted to remove a protester from Irton’s controversial Beech Tree.

However, North Yorkshire County Council said yesterday that under the terms of the injunction, no action can be taken to fell the tree or remove protesters until Friday.

The tree sit-in has now entered its second week. Charles Ledger replaced Mark “Snoz” Snow in the tree’s branches on Saturday and has been there ever since. He said he would seek legal advice before deciding on his next move.

“I’m not sure what will happen at the end of the month,” Mr Ledger told the Evening News yesterday.

“I’m wondering at what point I will become a criminal. I’m still getting plenty of support.”

It is understood that the county council was granted the injunction on Friday evening, but only confirmed yesterday that it had been put in place.

A spokesperson said: “The High Court in London has granted North Yorkshire County Council an injunction to allow it to comply with a ruling from the County Court in Scarborough that the council must fell a beech tree in the village of Irton.

“The terms of the injunction are that no action can be taken on site until September 30.”

The spokesperson added that a survey had been conducted which confirmed that the tree is not a bat roost.

If bats had been confirmed as living in the tree, it may have saved it.

In another development, homeowner Gerald Hazelwood, who applied to have the tree felled alongside his wife Norah, broke his silence yesterday.

In a statement, Mr Hazelwood said: “Following the county council’s application to fell the tree, it has since been determined that the tree is causing a nuisance in terms of damage and access problems and that the tree should be felled in order to prevent the nuisance from continuing.

“Beyond that, it would be inappropriate for myself and my wife to make any comment given the ongoing proceedings between the county council and Scarborough Council.

“To do so might see us as being in contempt of court as we have been discharged from the ongoing proceedings.”

Mr Ledger said he is getting used to life in the beech tree. “I’m getting on all right,” he said. “Last night was better than the first. I’m happy to stay up.”