When it comes to local campaigns or projects that impact on a community, there are many ways in which you can raise attention or get more people involved. However, it seems as though the easiest way to make an impact is to call on the services of a celebrity or TV star. In the modern era, social media is at the heart of so many people’s lives, and people in the public eye have an excellent reach with respect to getting stories out or helping more people learn about a situation or issue.
This has been seen recently with the news that a local tree, which has been described as much loved, has been granted with a temporary reprieve. Many residents have been pushing for the tree to be saved but it seems as though the intervention of Chris Packham, a TV star, has made a big difference to the overall campaign. The tree, a weeping ash, located in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight is more than 100 hundred years old. As you’d expect, you don’t clock up a century without dealing with some issues and it seems as though the tree was being prepared for the chop due to issues with fungus.
Tree could cause harm to people
A major issue for the local council is that the tree has been deemed to have a likely breakage, classed as imminent, and this limb sits over a bench. This is exactly the sort of problem that a council would want to avoid. The local highways authority, Island Roads, have stated their intention to remove the tree although they have also said they wold undertake detailed examinations of the tree at a later date.
However, the TV star, best known for nature programmes, made an impassioned plea on Twitter. Packham said that “Trees aren’t for councils, they’re for life. Long life, many lives, the lives of many things.” He then implored local authority personnel to repair the tree as opposed to hauling it down and it seems as though his message has been heard.
Local support and tree surgeon findings back the tree
The tree is referred to as the umbrella tree in the local area and there has been a growing campaign to back the tree. One show of support has seen dozens of ribbons being attached to tree, which has helped indicate the level of public support for the tree. Perhaps more importantly, there has also been the findings of a tree surgeon, acting upon instruction of residents, who stated that the tree posed “no immediate danger to the public.” This has been seized as positive news by the campaigners but it appears as though the Council in the Isle of Wight don’t quite agree with the findings of the report.
The council says that the report has “misidentified” the real issue, the “heart rot fungi” and it is this that is placing the stability of the tree into question. There is hope that the tree can be moved to a safer location as opposed to being felled, but the debate is ongoing.