Pensioner's trees chopped down by EDF

Victoria LeggettA Norfolk pensioner was furious when he returned from a shopping trip to find dozens of trees at his home had been chopped down by an energy company.Tom Mancini saw the gaping hole left at the edge of his land as he and his wife Ann turned into their road at White Horse Common, North Walsham.Victoria Leggett

A NORTH Norfolk pensioner was furious when he returned from a shopping trip to find dozens of trees at his home had been chopped down by an energy company.

Tom Mancini saw the gaping hole left at the edge of his land as he and his wife Ann turned into their road at White Horse Common, North Walsham.

The 37 trees, a mixture of willows and laurels which were at the side of a paddock, had stood at 25ft but had been cut down to just 3ft, or 1m tall, by contractors working for EDF Energy.

Mr Mancini, 72, said: "We were devastated and still are. People who live nearby have asked 'what's happened to your trees?' Every one's horrified by what's happened - the wanton destruction of mature trees."


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The pensioner has lived at his home for 10 years and every two years contractors have been sent to trim the trees on his land to stop them obstructing power cables which run over it.

Mr Mancini, a father of three and grandfather of eight, said he had not been told of plans to chop down the trees and had not been asked for permission.

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He added: "Those trees weren't in immediate danger of affecting the lines. They could have done a far better job by just trimming the tops rather than cutting the trunks.

"I understand they have a right to make sure the lines are safe but what they have done this time is totally out of proportion with what's been done in years gone by."

Plans to move a rescued donkey on to the land have had to be cancelled, since the trees are no longer there to stop it escaping, and Mr Mancini said he felt the gap at the edge of his land had taken away his privacy.

A spokesman from EDF said: "We are very sorry for any upset caused to Mr Mancini as a result of this essential work to maintain our overhead electricity network. As the case is still being investigated we are unable to comment any further."

The company is spending �15m this year to keep trees clear of its overhead electricity cables in order to reduce power cuts caused by branches hitting power lines.

The spokesman added: "We strive for a balance between protecting our electricity network and the delivery of electricity to our 7.8m business and domestic customers, and the natural environment."

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