A COUNCIL has intervened to stop the felling of a beech tree in a village graveyard.

Electricity North West announced it was to cut down the tree in Tockholes United Reformed Church’s grounds as its proximity to power lines was judged dangerous.

It said a consultation with residents preferred this to the disruption of re-routing the cables underground.

But Andrew Rosthorn, of Ivy Cottages, who led protests against felling the tree in 2010, objected to Blackburn with Darwen Council.

Cllr Phil Riley, the borough’s growth boss, said: “Opinion amongst local people is very divided, but the council has been asked to work with ENW to see if there is any way that the tree can be preserved.

“Our arboricultural officer has already been in discussions with ENW about this particular tree, which is protected under a Tree Preservation Order.

“This tree is part of the character and appearance of the local area, and so it’s only right that we reconsider all the available options.”

Mr Rosthorn said: “I hope this is good news. This beautiful tree was living here long before men came to bring electricity to Tockholes. They strung their wires near its trunk. If 90 years later they think the wires are too close, they should surely move the wires, not the tree.”

A spokesperson for ENW said: “We are continuing to speak with the council following our engagement with residents.”