Hedge Enders are up in arms over plans to fell a much loved laburnum tree outside the village hall.
The flowering tree was planted in 1956 by Hedge End Women’s Institute to commemorate their Golden Jubilee however there are plans to extend facilities for a play group which meets at the hall and there are fears that the children could be poisoned by the tree if they come into contact with it.
Every part of the laburnum is said to be toxic –and potentially fatal – however large quantities of the bitter tasting plant have to be ingested before symptoms arise.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries have no records of a fatality caused by laburnum poisoning although in 2007 a playgroup in Norwich admitted 15 of its charges to hospital after they were seen playing with laburnum pods from a tree in its grounds.
None of the children displayed any symptoms of being unwell but were still admitted as a precaution and the tree was subsequently felled.
Jill Borrows of Hedge end Women’s Institute and ‘Save Sid’ campaigner Matthew Myatt who are trying to save the tree dubbed ‘Lily Laburnum’ said:
“Local Hedge End children should embrace their local history and heritage and not learn from adults who cut down trees just because they are in the way.”
It is understood that a tree preservation order is being sought for tree – although this did not stop Eastleigh Borough Council from felling a mature sycamore (Sid) to make way for a multi -million pound extension to the Point.
Hedge End Town Council are next meeting on Wednesday 18 May. Campaigners are hoping to address the council on the issue.