Plans drawn up to replace First World War memorial tree felled by Kettering Council weeks before Armistice Day

Kettering residents held a meeting with the council this month to discuss plans to replace a historic tree felled last year without notice - an action that left many of them furious with the local authority.

Wednesday, 17th April 2019, 10:59 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 2:38 pm
Legion Crescent residents were left stunned and angry when the tree was felled in October 2018

The cedar tree in Legion Crescent was planted in memory of fallen First World War soldiers but was unexpectedly removed in October 2018 - weeks before Armistice Day - leaving one resident in tears.

After public outrage at the decision, Kettering Council agreed to meet residents to discuss what will take the felled tree's place on the green.

A Kettering Council spokeswoman said: "The council is pleased to confirm that after working with the residents of Legion Crescent a wood carver has been commissioned to carve a gun feature for the green to reflect the historic importance of this area and its connections with the First World War.

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One resident was in tears when she saw the cut-down tree

"Flower planting will begin in early June at the front of the crescent and a new cedar tree and flowering cherry trees will also be planted as part of this new scheme.

"This key public land gateway to the town will be maintained on an ongoing basis."

The news was welcomed by residents who had been devastated to see the tree felled without being consulted or informed.

"On the whole we were satisfied," said Peter Kirk, of Legion Crescent.

"A number of older residents had some reservations but that's all they were, reservations.

"We have to compromise and they have said sorry for what they did.

"The flower beds will be maintained regularly so there's going to be some TLC spent on the entrance to Kettering."

The gun to be carved from the felled cedar tree is a nod to the two captured German field guns that were once displayed on the green, which has had ties to the Great War since the conflict ended.

In the 1920s the land was donated by the Duke of Buccleuch and 12 houses were built for First World War veterans.

At the end of the conflict, the captured guns stood there alongside a battle-scarred tank.

The tank was eventually broken up for scrap and the guns re-located in 1930, with the space replaced by the two cedar trees.