A REVIEW of Blackburn with Darwen’s tree and woodland strategy must stop the “vandalism” of the borough felling too much historic timber without reason, a senior councillor has said.

Liberal Democrat Paul Browne said current guidelines saw too many trees “being lopped down unnecessarily”. The review, the first for seven years, was revealed when the borough’s executive board met at Darwen Town Hall last night.

As the senior councillors discussed a petition regarding unsafe branches at the rear of Cemetery Road in Darwen, environment boss Faryad Hussain revealed the current policy for such matters was being re-examined in the light of changes in the borough and its finances since 2006.

He said: “The council is reviewing its tree and woodland strategy, although it is unlikely that additional resources will be available for tree work.

“We understand that our trees are important to people and are reviewing our trees and woodland strategy in light of recent changes in the council.”

Sudell councillor Browne disagreed, saying: “The current policy seems to allow too many trees to be lopped down unnecessarily.

“It’s nothing less than vandalism. We need to do more to protect them and this review needs to take that into account.” The meeting was told most work on the overhanging trees at the back of Cemetery Road was completed last month and the final branches were being removed last night.