Company fined thousands after eight willow trees hacked down in Barton-le-Clay

A tree surgeon and the company he works for were ordered to pay thousands in fines after cutting down eight protected willow trees in Barton-le-Clay.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 4:36 pm
Updated Friday, 4th June 2021, 5:08 pm
Each of the eight felled trees had a preservation order

GPS Estates, based at Blackthorn Place, Silsoe, was sentenced at Luton Magistrates Court last Thursday, May 28, following a prosecution by Central Bedfordshire Council

The company had authorised a man named Michael Martin, 26, of Maulden, to cut down eight willow trees to the rear of Manor Road in Barton-Le-Clay, in spite of a tree preservation order.

Both the company and Mr Martin pleaded guilty to a contravention of the Town and Country Planning Regulations 2012.

One of the willow trees in Barton-le-Clay after it was hacked down

GPS Estates was fined £4,000, a victim surcharge of £190 and costs of £1,000 - totalling £5,190.

Meanwhile, Mr Martin was fined £2,000, a victim surcharge of £190 and costs of £333.12 - totalling £2,523.12.

A Central Bedfordshire Council spokesman said: "We take protected trees very seriously and, in this case, the prosecution was for the felling of eight willow trees.

"The photographs show the impact of the work on the surrounding area and formed part of the council’s prosecution case."