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Case 150 - Pear tree felled over health and safety fears on attracting wasps

Issue

A mature pear tree was felled by a local authority over health and safety fears that it attracted wasps.

Panel decision

This seems to be an over-reaction by the council to an everyday risk, and sets an environmentally damaging precedent if taken to its logical conclusion in other public spaces. Wasps nests can form in a variety of places and the normal action is to remove/kill off the nest not to knock down whatever they have nested in/on. Simply quoting 'health and safety' as the reason for felling a well established tree is unfounded and misleading.

2013-03-25