‘People are scared by trees’

Patricia Cloy, Steve Murfitt and Michelle Jordan are having problems with overgrown trees in Clayton-le-Woods
Patricia Cloy, Steve Murfitt and Michelle Jordan are having problems with overgrown trees in Clayton-le-Woods

Over-grown trees are causing such distress in Clayton Brook that more than 150 people are taking action to get them chopped.

Residents living near Preston Road and Daisy Meadow have had enough of branches falling into their gardens, so have teamed up to tackle the problem once and for all.

The Guardian reported in November that homeowners were fed up of living in darkness because trees in the area have grown so tall, but Chorley Council said it could only consider taking them down if they were dead, diseased or dangerous.

Now, Coun Steve Murfitt has launched a petition to prove the trees are in fact unsafe and said he wants them cutting in half.

He said: “During the cold weather, ice was falling from the trees, and they’re so tall that it had a long way to fall in to gardens and footpaths.

“People are frightened to death in windy conditions because they worry branches or trees will fall on to their houses, and it’s also dangerous on the pavements.

“One 92-year-old gentleman doesn’t feel safe in his mobility buggy driving to Asda because he either has to go on to the road or risk being whipped by branches from the overgrown shrubs.”

One woman has pledged to support Coun Murfitt’s campaign because she remembers how life used to be before the trees grew so high.

Patricia Cloy has lived in her terraced house on Daisy Meadow with husband Alfie for almost 30 years.

She said: “We have to keep our grandchildren in the house when they visit because it’s too dangerous for them in the garden.

“Large twigs fall down everyday, and if the children were to get hit in the face, it could cause quite a lot of damage.

“They’re both eight years old, and they used to love playing out in the back garden with us. They even have a trampoline, but they can’t use it anymore.”

Mrs Cloy is also upset at how she and Alfie have to deal with the mess.

“It’s never-ending,” she said. “The garden is always full of twigs, branches and leaves, and we’re constantly having to clean up.

“If we didn’t keep on top of things, it would become even more damp and wet, but it’s a waste of time trying to enjoy the garden now anyway.

“We can’t grow any flowers, and we have to have the lights on in the house because it gets so dark.

“The electricity bills are huge, and it’s just like a wall between us and the sky.”

The couple have also noticed that some of the larger trees seem to be leaning over on to Preston Road.

“I dread to think what would happen if one came down on to the road,” Mrs Cloy said. “I think something should be done about it now.”

Coun Eric Bell, who has responsibility for trees at Chorley Council, said: “We have received a petition requesting that the council works with Places for People and Lancashire County Council to better maintain trees in the Clayton Brook area.

“I will be organising a meeting with our partners for as soon as possible in the New Year so we can look into how we can resolve this matter.”